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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

All of us have seen many presentations floating around about eminent


people like Aryabhatta, Chankya, Srinivasa Ramanujam etc.

While we are very proud of the great deeds our ancestors have
achieved, we believe we should also recognise the present day greats who
have contributed in this century and/or contributing today.

Below is a list of few such great personalities. This list is not


comprehensive, many more can be added. A few people might not
agree with a few names in the list. But this is a small effort by three
of us to compile this list of people who are in today’s India.

Any feedback is most welcome. Please direct it to


psycraj@gmail.com.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Abdul Kalam Dr.A.P.J. ..................................................................................................3


Adi Godrej .....................................................................................................................4
Aditya Birla....................................................................................................................5
Amar Bose .....................................................................................................................6
Amartya Sen...................................................................................................................7
Anil Ambani...................................................................................................................8
Anji Reddy Dr. K.........................................................................................................10
Arun Sarin....................................................................................................................11
Arundhati Roy..............................................................................................................12
Azim Hasham Premji...................................................................................................14
Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani........................................................................................16
Ghanshyam Das Birla ..................................................................................................17
Gopichand P.................................................................................................................18
Indra Nooyi ..................................................................................................................19
Jagdish N. Bhagwati ....................................................................................................20
Jamsetji Tata ................................................................................................................22
Kumar Mangalam Birla ...............................................................................................24
Lakshmi Mittal.............................................................................................................25
Mallika Srinivasan .......................................................................................................27
Mira Nair......................................................................................................................29
Mukesh Ambani...........................................................................................................30
Naina Lal Kidwai.........................................................................................................32
Nandan Nilekani ..........................................................................................................33
Narayana Murthy N.R..................................................................................................34
Naresh Goyal ...............................................................................................................35
Oberoi M.S...................................................................................................................36
Pratap Reddy Dr...........................................................................................................38
Rahman A.R.................................................................................................................39
Rahul Bajaj...................................................................................................................40
Raj Reddy Professor ....................................................................................................41
Ramalinga Raju............................................................................................................43
Ramoji Rao ..................................................................................................................44
Ratan Tata ....................................................................................................................45
Raunaq Singh ...............................................................................................................46
Sabeer Bhatia ...............................................................................................................47
Sachin Tendulkar .........................................................................................................48
Shashi Tharoor .............................................................................................................49
Shiv Nadar ...................................................................................................................51
Subroto Roy .................................................................................................................52
Sulajja Firodia Motwani ..............................................................................................53
Sunil Bharti Mittal .......................................................................................................55
Tata J.R.D ....................................................................................................................57
Vijay Mallya ................................................................................................................58
Vikram .A. Sarabhai ....................................................................................................61
Vikram Seth .................................................................................................................62
Vinod Dham.................................................................................................................63
Vinod Khosla ...............................................................................................................64

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Abdul Kalam Dr.A.P.J.


President of India
Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabhudin Adbul Kalam, the twelfth President of India, is
rightfully termed as the father of India's missile technology. He was born to parents
Jainulabdeen Marakayar and Ashiamma on 15th October,
1931, at Dhanushkodi in Rameshwaram district, Tamil
Nadu. Dr. Kalam as an eminent Aeronautical Engineer,
contributed for the development of India’s first Satellite
launch vehicle SLV-3 and the missiles like the Trishul,
Agni, Pritvi etc.
He did his secondary education at Schwartz High School in
Ramanathapuram, B.Sc. at St. Joseph's College(1950),
Tiruchi, and DMIT in Aeronautical Engineering at the
MIT, Madras during 1954-57. After passing out as a
graduate aeronautical engineer, Kalam joined Hindustan
Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore as a trainee and
later joined as a technical assistant in the Directorate of Technical Development and
Production of the Ministry of Defence.
In the 1960's Kalam joined the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre at Thumba in
Kerala. He played a major role in the centre's evolution to a key hub of space research
in India, helping to develop the country's first indigenous satellite-launch vehicle.
During 1963-82, he served the ISRO in various capacities. In 1982, he rejoined
DRDO as Director, and conceived the Integrated Guided Missile Development
Programme (IGMDP) for five indigenous missiles. Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has
established an Advanced Technology Research Centre, called 'Research Centre
Imarat' to undertake development in futuristic missile technology areas. He also
served as the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Defence minister and later the
Government of India. After retiring from the post Dr. Kalam joined Annamalai
University till he became the President in January 2002.
He is a member of Indian National Academy of Sciences, Astronautical Society of
India and many other professional bodies. Dr. APJ abdul Kalam has been awarded
Padma Bhushan in 1981, Padma Vibhushan in 1990 and India's Highest civilian
Award 'The Bharat Ratna' in 1997. Other prestigious awards include Dr.Biren Roy
Space Award, Om Prakash Basin Award for Science and Technology, National Nehru
Award, Arya Bhatta Award etc. Dr. Kalam was conferred with the degree of Doctor
of Science (D.Sc. Honoris-causa) by twenty eight universities.
Dr. Kalam, a bachelor is a connoisseur of classical Carnatic music. He plays veena in
his leisure. He writes poetry in Tamil, his mother tongue. Seventeen of his poems
were translated into English and published in 1994 as a book entitled 'My Journey'.
He reads the Quran and the Bhagavad Gita with equal devotion. He is also the Author
of the books 'India 2020 : A vision for the New Millennium'(1998 with YS Rajan),
'Wings of Fire : an Autobiography' and 'Ignited Minds – unleashing the power within
India'.
Totally dedicated to the nation, Dr. Abdul Kalam's vision is to transform India into a
developed nation by the year 2020 through hard work and perseverance. He holds a
first world dream for the third world nation.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Adi Godrej
Achievements: Chairman of Godrej Group

Adi Godrej is one of the icons of Indian Industry. He is the chairman of Godrej
Group. .Adi Godrej was born in a business family. His
father's name was Burjorji Godrej and his mother's
name was Jai Godrej. More than a century age, the
Godrej's were into manufacturing locks and vegetable-
based soaps. The Godrej products were among the first
indigenously manufactured products to displace
entrenched foreign brands.

Adi Godrej left India at the age of 17 to enroll at the


Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Though he
planned to study mechanical engineering but he later on
switched to management. After his return to India, Adi
Godrej joined the family business. He modernized and systematized management
structures and implemented process improvements. Adi Godrej took the Godrej
Group to great height during controlled economy era.

After the liberalization process, Adi Godrej restructured company's policies to meet
the challenges of globalisation. In the early 2000s, the Group completed a 10-year
restructuring process through which each business became a stand-alone company
with a CEO/COO from outside the Godrej family.

Under Adi Godrej's leadership, the group is also involved in philanthropic activities.
Godrej is major supporter of the World Wildlife Fund in India, it has developed a
green business campus in the Vikhroli township of Mumbai, which includes a 150-
acre mangrove forest and a school for the children of company employees.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Aditya Birla
The Aditya Birla Group is a multinational corporation based in India and operations
in 20 countries including Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, Canada,
Australia, China, USA, UK, Germany, Hungary, Brazil, Italy, France, Luxembourg,
Switzerland, Malaysia and Korea.

A US$ 24
billion
conglomerate,
with a market
capitalisation of
US$ 23 billion.
Over 50 per cent
of its revenues
flow from its
operations
across the world
Aditya Birla is
organised into
various
subsidiaries that
operate across different sectors. Among these are viscose staple fibre, non-ferrous
metals, cement, viscose filament yarn, branded apparel, carbon black, chemicals,
fertilizers, sponge iron, insulators, financial services, telecom, BPO and IT services.
Aditya Birla Group holds a 98.3% stake in IDEA cellular, a leading telecom operator
in India
The Aditya Birla group operates in the textiles industry of India. Its subsidiary, Indian
Rayon, is a major producer of textile fabric as well as the brand licensee of Louis
Phillip, Van Heusen and Allen Solly in India
Hindalco Industries Ltd of the Aditya Birla group has agreed to buy US-based
aluminum sheet maker Novelis Inc in an all-cash deal worth $6 billion (around Rs
26,500 crore)
The Birla family is one of the foremost business houses in India. Their businesses
vary from petrochemicals and textiles to automobiles and Infocomm. The founder of
the Birla Group was Baldeo Das Birla, a member of the successful Marwari
community from the westerly state of Rajasthan. He moved to Calcutta to set up the
family business during the late nineteenth century, and with it established close ties to
the freedom movement of the time. The Birla's are known for their work and support
of the nation during the freedom struggle, and the family were close friends of
Mahatma Gandhi. Even today, the Birla name is considered synonymous with wealth,
dignity and power in India

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Amar Bose
Born: 1929
Achievements: Founded Bose Corporation in 1929; Invented the 901(R)
Direct/Reflecting(R) speaker system - one of the
first stereo loudspeakers to utilize the space around
them instead of reproducing sound as if in a
vacuum; featured in 2006 Forbes Billionaires list.

Amar Bose is the founder of Bose Corporation and


is known for his pioneering work in the field of
acoustics. Bose speakers are world-famous for
giving high-end performance despite their modest
size.

Amar Gopal Bose was born in 1929 in Philadelphia,


Pennsylvania. His father Nani Gopal Bose was a
revolutionary freedom fighter who emigrated from
Calcutta to escape British prosecution. Amar Bose
was interested in electronics right from his
childhood and used to make small electrical toys to supplement his family's income.
He did his schooling Abington Senior High School and graduated with a BS in
Electrical Engineering from MIT in the early 1950s. He also completed his Ph.D.
from MIT.

While doing graduation from MIT in 1950s, Amar Bose purchased a new stereo
system. But he was disappointed with the performance of the speakers. Despite their
impressive technical specifications, the speakers failed to reproduce the realism of a
live performance. This led Bose to start working on stereo speaker. He aimed to
design a speaker that would emulate the concert hall experience in the home. Amar
Bose's early patents won him great respect within the industry. But Bose needed
capital to do further research and begin production. Amar Bose received financial
support from MIT professor Y. W. Lee and in 1964 he founded Bose Corporation.

In 1968, Amar Bose invented the 901(R) Direct/Reflecting(R) speaker system. They
were one of the first stereo loudspeakers to utilize the space around them instead of
reproducing sound as if in a vacuum. Bose's 901(R) speakers remained an industry
benchmark for 25 years. Amar Bose also captured the car stereo market, with systems
that transformed the on-the-road listening experience.

Today, Amar Bose has over two-dozen patents to his name. His products can be found
in Olympics stadiums, the Sistine Chapel, NASA Space Shuttle, and the Japanese
National Theatre. Amar Bose was also a professor of electrical engineering at MIT for
many years until he retired in 2000. Amar Bose featured on the 2006 Forbes
Billionaires list with a personal wealth of $1.2 billion.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Amartya Sen
Economist
Amartya Kumar Sen, son of Amita Sen and Ashutosh Sen, was born on 3rd
November 1933 at Shantiniketan, West Bengal. He received his initial education at
Shantiniketan and then Presidency College, Calcutta. He
was exposed early on to the plight of the poor. As a 10-year
old child, during the Bengal famine, he was shocked to see
people dying of hunger on the streets of Calcutta yards
away from shops stocked with food. Three years later in
Dhaka a Muslim labourer was killed in communal riots
outside his house. The traumatic incidents directed Sen to a
relentless study of the economic mechanism underlying
famines and poverty.
Amartya Sen joined Trinity College, Cambridge in 1953.
He became the youngest chairman of the Department of
Economics, Jadavpur University, at the age of 23. Between
1956-1998 he was Professor of Economics at various Universities in India and
abroad.
Sen's contributions on welfare economics and definition of poverty in relation to
development have offered a new philosophy and an alternative way to solid economic
development. He was of the opinion that the World Bank system of ranking countries
according to the GNP and saving rates was not enough and he helped to create the
United Nations Human Development Index which has now become the most
authoritative international source of welfare comparisons between countries. Some of
his works include ' Choice of Techniques', ' Collective Choice and Social Welfare', '
Poverty and Famines', ' Development as Freedom' etc.
Sen is the sixth Indian to get the Nobel and the first Asian winner of the Economics
Prize. Some of the honours to his credit are 'Indira Gandhi Gold Medal Award' of the
Asiatic Society (1994), 'Nobel prize for Economics' (1998) for his work on ' The
poorest people in Society', 'Eisenhower Medal' from USA (2000), 'Honorary
Companion of Honour' from UK (2000). He also received 'Bharat Ratna', the highest
civilian award in India. He has been honored with Honorary D.Litt degrees and
fellowships of a large number of Indian and Foreign Universities and Institutes of
repute. Now living in Cambride, Massachusetts with his third wife, an economic
historian Emma Rothschild, this genius has spent a lifetime fighting poverty with
analysis rather than activism.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Anil Ambani
Anil Ambani (born June 4, 1959) is an Indian businessman. As of March 2007, he has
a net-worth of US$ 18.2 billion, making him the 18th richest person in the world. His
was the world's fastest-growing multi-billion-dollar fortune in percentage terms as his
wealth tripled in 1 year.
Ambani is chairman of
Reliance Capital, Reliance
Communications and
Chairman & Managing
Director, Reliance Energy,
and was formerly Vice
Chairman and Managing
Director of Reliance
Industries Limited. His
personal stake in Reliance
Communications is 66%.
Reliance group is India's
largest business house,
founded by Anil's late
father Dhirubhai Ambani
(1938-2002). His mother is
Kokilaben Ambani. He is
married with Tina
Ambani(Munim) who was
a well known Indian Actress in early 80's, and blessed with two sons: Jai Anmol and
Jai Anshul.
The total investors' wealth in the four Anil Ambani Group firms -- Reliance
Communications (RCOM), Reliance Capital (RCL), Reliance Energy (REL) and
Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) has reached 1,42,384 crore rupees, while
total promoter holding is estimated at about Rs 87,000 crore. Anil's wealth comes
mostly from his over 65 per cent stake in RCOM, which has a market cap of about Rs
1,03,000 crore. He also has over 50 per cent in RCL (market cap of Rs 24,000 crore),
35 per cent in REL (market cap of Rs 12,700 crore) and close to 54 per cent in RNRL,
which has a market cap of about Rs 2,600 crore.
Ambani holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Bombay and an
MBA degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently,
he serves as a member of the Wharton Board of Overseers.
Ambani joined Reliance in 1983 as Co-Chief Executive Officer and is credited with
having pioneered many financial innovations in the Indian capital markets. For
example, he led India's first forays into overseas capital markets with international
public offerings of global depositary receipts, convertibles and bonds. He directed
Reliance in its efforts to raise, since 1991, around US$2 billion from overseas
financial markets; with a 100-year Yankee bond issue in January 1997 being the high
point. After which people regarded him as a Financial Wizard. He has steered the
Reliance Group to its current status as India's leading textiles, petroleum,
petrochemicals, power, and telecom company.
Anil was the member of Uttar Pradesh Development Council (This council has now
been scrapped by Behen Maywati) He is also the Chairman of Board of Governors of
DA-IICT, Gandhinagar and a member of the Board of Governors of the Indian
Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He is member of the Board of Governors, Indian

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA
Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He is also a member of the Central Advisory
Committee, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. In June 2004, Anil was
elected as an Independent Member of the Rajya Sabha - Upper House, Parliament of
India with the support of the Samajwadi Party. In March 2006, he resigned. Recently
after his brother Mukesh Ambani he also has his name in the books of Trillionares.
His biggest prize from the filmdom though is considered to be his friendship with
Amitabh Bacchan, yesteryear superstar. His another achievement is considered to be
the takeover of Adlabs, the movie production to distribution to multiplex company
that owns Mumbai's only dome theatre.
He drives a Range Rover and is known to be a fast car person.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Anji Reddy Dr. K.


of Reddy labs

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. (Reddy's), founded in 1984 by Dr. K. Anji Reddy, has
become India’s biggest pharmaceuticals company. Reddy had
worked in the publicly-owned Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals
Ltd. Reddy's manufactures and markets a wide range of
pharmaceuticals in India and overseas. The company more than
190 medications ready for patients to take, 60 active
pharmaceutical ingredients, for drug manufacture, diagnostic
kits, critical care and biotechnology products.
Reddy’s began as a supplier to Indian drug manufacturers, but it soon started
exporting to other less-regulated markets – that had the advantage of not spend time
and money on a manufacturing plant that that would gain approval from a drug
licensing body such as the US’s Food and Drug Administration. Much of Reddy’s
early success came in those unregulated markets, where process patents – not product
patents – are recognized. With that money in the bank, the company could reverse-
engineer patented drugs from more developed countries and sell them royalty-free in
India and Russia. By the early 1990s, the expanded scale and profitability from these
unregulated markets enabled the company to begin focusing on getting approval from
drug regulators for their formulations and bulk drug manufacturing plants in more-
developed economies. This allowed their movement into regulated markets such as
the US and Europe.
By 2007, Reddy’s had six FDA-plants producing active pharmaceutical ingredients in
India and seven FDA-inspected and ISO 9001 (quality) and [[International
Organization for Standardization|ISO 14001 (environmental management) certified
plants making patient-ready medications – five of them in India and two in the UK
Revenue $1.5 Billion (MAY2007)
Net income $216 Million (MAY2007)
Employees 7,525

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Arun Sarin
Born: October 21, 1954
Achievement: CEO of global mobile telecommunications company Vodafone Group
Plc.

Arun Sarin is the Chief Executive Officer of the


British based global mobile telecommunications
company Vodafone Group Plc. He is one of the few
Indians to head a global multi national company.

Arun Sarin was born on October 21, 1954 at


Panchmari, Madya Pradesh. His father was an army
officer and Arun Sarin did his schooling from
military boarding school in Bangalore. After
schooling, Arun Sareen joined IIT Kharagpur and
graduated in 1975. In 1977, he did his MS in
Engineering from University of California,
Berkeley and subsequently did his MBA from the same university in 1978.

Arun Sarin started his professional career in 1978 as an environmental analyst for a
Washington, D.C., consulting firm. In 1981, he joined Natomas in California as a
corporate development manager. Arun Sarin entered telecom industry in 1984, when
he joined Pacific Telesis Group in San Francisco. At Pacific Telesis Group, Arun
worked closely with Sam Ginn, the legendary telecommunications entrepreneur. He
worked with Pacific Telesis in various professional and executive positions for 10
years, and was later appointed vice president of corporate strategy. Arun Sarin left
Pacific Telesis in 1994 when it split its mobile and paging businesses.

In 1995, Arun Sarin followed his mentor Sam Ginn to a newly formed wireless-
communications company, AirTouch Communications. He was President and Chief
Operating Officer of AirTouch from February 1997 to June 1999. In 1999, AirTouch
and Vodafone, a large British wireless communications company joined hands to
create Vodafone-AirTouch. Arun Sarin was made chief executive of the newly
formed corporate entity. In April 2000, Arun Sarin resigned from Vodafone-AirTouch
and took the CEO position at InfoSpace, an Internet infrastructure company based in
Bellevue, Washington. As CEO Arun Sarin led the merger of InfoSpace and Go2Net,
a consumer-portal company, for approximately $4 billion in a stock swap.

After an eight-month tenure at InfoSpace, Arun Sarin resigned. In July 2001, he


joined Accel Partners and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) to lead a new
telecommunications venture called Accel-KKR Telecom. After an eighteen month
stint at Accel-KKR Telecom Arun Sarin resigned and on July 30, 2003 he was
installed as the CEO of Vodafone.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Arundhati Roy
Writer & Social Activist
Susanna Arundhati Roy the first Indian woman to have won Britain's prestigious
Booker Prize, was born on 24th November 1961 in Bengal
and grew up in Aymanam village, Kottayam, Kerala.
She was born to parents Mary Roy a well known social
activist who won a landmark Supreme Court verdict that
granted Christian women in Kerala the right to their parent's
property and father a Bengali Hindu tea planter. Arundhati's
parents separated when she was small and she did her formal
education in Corpus Christi school run by her mother in
Kottayam District, Kerala. When she was just 16, she left her
home and settled in Delhi. There she did her degree in
Architecture at the Delhi School of Architecture. During this
period she met Gerard Da Cunha a fellow architecture
student and married him but their marriage lasted only four years. After a brief stint in
the field of architecture, she found that it was not for her. She left for Goa, making a
life out at the beach, got tired of it after a few months, came back to Delhi. She took a
job at the National Institute of Urban Affairs, met Pradeep Krishen, a film director
now her husband who offered her a small role in 'Massey Saab'. She went to Italy on a
scholarship for eight months to study the restoration of monuments. She realised she
was a writer during those months in Italy.
After she returned from Italy she worked with Pradeep Krishen and they planned an
episode television for Doordarshan called the 'Banyan Tree' which didn't materialise
and was shelved by the producers after shooting 2-3 episodes. She wrote and starred
in 'In Which Annie Gives it Those Ones', a film on college life in India, based on her
experiences in the University of Delhi, and wrote the screenplay for Pradip Krishen's
film 'Electric Moon' (1992). She quickly became known for her work as screenwriter.
Then she wrote a series of essays called 'The Great Indian Rape Trick' which attracted
media attention, in defense of former dacoit Phoolan Devi, who she felt had been
exploited by Shekhar Kapur's film 'Bandit Queen'. Then came her debut novel 'The
God of Small Things' which shot her into prominence in 1997, by winning the
prestigious British Booker prize in London and becoming an international best seller.
The book, which took almost five years to complete, gives an insight to the social and
political life in a village in South India through the eyes of seven year old twins and
how it effects/disrupts their small lives. The book won £20,000 as prize and sold
nearly 400,000 copies globally by October that year.
In the years following her success, she has turned to activism, writing 'The Cost of
Living' a book comprising two essays 'The Greater Common Good'(1999) and 'The
End of Imagination'(1998); the former against Indian Governments massive dam
projects which displaced millions of poor people and the latter; its testing of Nuclear
weapons. She has been an active participant in public demonstrations against the
construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river in Western India and
has donated a substantial amount around 1.5million rupees, equivalent to her Booker
Prize money, for the cause. She was even arrested along with other protestors for
campaigning for the cause. 'Power Politics' her latest book published, takes on Enron
the power corporation based in Houston trying to take over Maharashtra's energy
sector. She has also spoken on and published several articles such as 'Promotion of
equal rights' supporting equal rights for lower caste in India and 'War on Terrorism'
(2001)against the Iraq war.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA
With her latest publications, Arundhati is carving a niche for herself as a political
journalist. This unusual women who has been on several lists of 'the 50 most beautiful
women in the world' is not intimated by her success and fame but is an inspiration to
all those who seek to speak up against the powers in support of the poor and the
oppressed. She now lives in Delhi with her husband Pradip Krishen and his two
daughters Pia and Mithva from a previous marriage.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Azim Hasham Premji


Founder of Wipro Limited
Azim Hasham Premji, founder of Wipro Limited, India's
biggest and most competitive IT company based in
Bangalore, was born on July 24th 1945 in Bombay. Premji
was forced to leave his studies in computer science from
Stanford University, California, USA at the age of 21 to
take over the family business of vegetable oils when his
father M.H. Premji, suddenly passed away in 1966. He has
since after a gap of over thirty years completed his degree
in Electrical Engineering.
The Amalner-based vanaspathi manufacturing company,
the Western India Vegetable Product later became Wipro
Products Ltd, Wipro Technologies and Wipro Corporation.
Under Premji's leadership Wipro embarked on an ambitious phase of expansion and
diversification. The Company began manufacturing light bulbs with General Electric
and other consumer products including soaps, baby care products, shampoos, powder
etc. In 1975, Wipro Fluid Power business unit manufacturing hydraulic cylinders and
truck tippers was started. But Premji's ambitions did not stop there. In the 1980s
Wipro entered the IT field, taking advantage of the expulsion of IBM from the Indian
market in 1975. Thus, Wipro became involved in manufacturing computer hardware,
software development and related items, under a special license from Sentinel. As a
result, the $1.5 million company in hydrogenated cooking fats grew within a few
years to a $662 million diversified, integrated corporation in services, medical
systems, technology products and consumer items with offices worldwide.
The company's IT division became the world’s first to win SEI CMM level 5 and
PCMM Level 5 (People Capability Maturity Model) certification, the latest in quality
standards. A large percentage of the company's revenues are generated by the IT
division. Wipro works with leading global companies, such as Alcatel, Nokia, Cisco
and Nortel and has a joint venture in Medical Systems with General Electric
Company.
Premji's story of success and prominence clearly shows how determination and
perseverance, when coupled with knowledge, clear vision and proper planning, enable
one to reach the peak of success and leadership. A straight forward person, he doesn't
believe in resorting to bribery or corruption to get things done and associates quality
with integrity. He is an absolute workaholic and according to him work is the only
way to success and survival in a competitive environment. A tough employer, he
expects his employees to be competent and will not tolerate lies or deception from
anyone.
Azim Hasham Premji finds himself in the Forbes Billionaire List 2000, placed in 41st
position with a wealth of $ 6.4 billion. Over the years, Azim Premji has been
privileged with many honours and accolades. He was chosen as the Business India's
'Businessman of the Year 2000', He was named by Fortune (August 2003) as one of
the 25 most powerful business leaders outside the US, Forbes (March 2003) listed him
as one of ten people globally, Business Week featured (October 2003) him on their
cover with the sobriquet 'India's tech king'. The Indian Institute of Technology,
Roorkee and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education have both conferred
honorary doctorates on him. He is also a member of the Prime Minister's Advisory
Committee for Information Technology in India.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA
In the year 2001, Premji established Azim Premji Foundation, a not-for-profit
organization with a vision of influencing the lives of millions of children in India by
facilitating the universalisation of elementary education. The foundation works
closely with the state governments of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh
etc and the programs cover over 5000 rural schools. Premji contributes the financial
resources for the foundation.
Personally, Premji is known for his humility and helping mentality. Easily one of the
richest men in the world, he always travels in economy class. One of his favourite
recreational activity is hiking. He leads a quiet life with his wife Yasmin Premji who
had worked for 'Inside Outside' (editorial) in Mumbai and his two sons in a simple,
but elegant villa in Bangalore. The elder son, Rishad, works in the USA for GE and
the younger one, Tariq, has co-founded a dotcom and works from Bangalore. Mr.
Premji who holds 78% stakes in the company does not believe in naming one of his
sons as his successor just for the norms

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani


Founder of Reliance Industries
Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani, one of the leading Indian businessmen, was born on
December 28, 1932 in Chorwad, Gujarat. Popularly known as
Dhirubhai Ambani, he heads The Reliance Industries, India's
largest private enterprise.
Dhirubhai started off as a small time worker with Arab
merchants in the 1950s and moved to Mumbai in 1958 to start
his own business in spices. After making modest profits, he
moved into textiles and opened his mill near Ahmedabad.
Dhirubhai founded Reliance Industries in 1958. After that it
was a saga of expansions and successes.
Reliance, acknowledged as one of the best-run companies in
the world has various sectors like petrochemicals, textiles and is involved in the
production of crude oil and gas, to polyester and polymer products. The companies
refinery at Jamnagar accounts for over 25% of India's total refining capacity and their
plant at Hazira is the biggest chemical complex in India. The company has further
diversified into Telecom, Insurance and Internet Businesses,
the Power Sector and so on. Now the Reliance group with
over 85,000 employees provides almost 5% of the Central
Government's total revenue.
Dhirubhai has been one among the select Forbes billionaires
and has also figured in the Sunday Times list of top 50
businessmen in Asia. His industrious nature and willingness
to take on any risk has made him what he is. In 1986 after a
heart attack he has handed over his empire to his two sons
Anil and Mukesh. His sons are carrying on the successful
tradition of their illustrious father.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Ghanshyam Das Birla


Founder of Birla Group of Industries

G.D. Birla was a great architect of India's industrial growth. He


started his career in Calcutta at the beginning of this century.
He entered the field of business during the days of the First
World War and established himself after the war years.
He established a cotton mill in Sabzi Mandi, Delhi followed by
Keshoram Cotton Mills and Birla Jute Mills around 1920. In
1919, with an investment of 50 lacs, the Birla Brothers Limited
was formed and thereafter a mill was set up in Gwalior.
In the decade of the 30's he set up Sugar and Paper mills. From
1943 to 1946, Birla Brothers ventured into the area of cars.
He had also established Ruby, Asiatic Insurance Co and Inland Air Service.
After independence, the Birlas expanded their business and started production in
many fields. Near Mirzapur, he, in collaboration with Caesar, an American friend, set
up an Aluminum Plant 'Hindalco'. He also started many educational Institutions. To
his credit go many temples, planetariums and hospitals. During the decades of 70's
and 80's, Birla brothers were among the topmost Industrial Houses of India. G.D.
Birla award for scientific Research has been established to encourage scientists for
their contribution in the various fields of scientific Research.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Gopichand P
Badminton Player
Pullela Gopi Chand is the brightest star to emerge on the Indian badminton scene in a
long time, after Prakash Padukone He was born on November 16th 1973, in
Nagandla in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, India to
parents Pullela Subhash Chandra Bose and Subbaravamma
who were both interested in sports. Gopichand is indeed a
story of sheer hard work, dedication and pure determination
for the game of Badminton.
Though Gopichand nicknamed Gops, favoured cricket
earlier, his elder brother made him switchover to
Badminton. Gopi's skill at Badminton was the talk at St.Pauls
where he had his schooling, when he was hardly around 10
years old. He suffered a setback in 1986, when he suffered a
multiple ligament rupture. But this young fighter came back to the field with sheer
determination and reached the finals of Andhra Pradesh State Junior Badminton ship
in 1987, even though he lost the title to his elder brother Rajashekar. By the time he
passed out of school in 1988, he had already made a mark in the Badminton field. He
did his graduation in Economics from AV College, Hyderabad. In 1989 he won his
first single title at the National Championship at Goa and then went on to win the
doubles championship also.
By 1999, Gopichand achieved a world ranking of 26 winning the Indian international,
Scottish, Toulouse, French championships etc. He received the SAARC gold medal
the same year. Always a fighter, he refused to be crushed by his defeat in the 2000
Sydney Olympics and true to his recognition out played the Olympics champions to
reach the finals of the All England Badminton ship, finally arriving at the forefront of
international badminton. He defeated Olympic Gold medallist Anders Boeson in the
Quarterfinals of this tournament. In the Semifinals he defeated world No.1 ceded
player Peter Gade of Denmark, and in the finals he defeated Chen Hong of China. He
achieved his career best world ranking of 5 in April 2001.

Gopichand was awarded the 'Arjuna Award' India's highest recognition for
sportspersons, in 2000 for his excellent performance in the sport. He has tremendous
respect for the rich Indian culture and tradition. He is the follower of ‘The Art of
Living’ Guru Sri Sri Ravishankar. He is proficient in yoga and practices it in his spare
time which help him to relax and focus better. Gopichand is also interested in
music. A disciple of Prakash, this gentleman is considered a good defensive player,
precise in his net play. He is employed by the Indian Oil Corporation in Hyderabad,
but the IOC has permitted him to spend most of his time training at the Sports
Authority facilities in Bangalore. This great player, with the vital combination of
mental strength and concentration is sure to take the sport of badminton in India to
new heights.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Indra Nooyi
Achievements: CEO of PepsiCo; Ranked No.4 on Forbes magazine's annual survey of
the 100 most powerful women in the world.

Indra Nooyi is the newly appointed CEO of PepsiCo-


the world's second-largest soft drink maker. She joins
the select band of women who head Fortune 500
companies. Presently, there are only 10 Fortune 500
companies that are run by women, and Indra Nooyi is
the 11th to break into the top echelons of power. Prior
to becoming CEO, Indra Nooyi was President, Chief
Financial Officer and a member of the Board of
Directors of PepsiCo Inc.

Indra Nooyi spent her childhood in Chennai. Her


father worked at the State Bank of Hyderabad and her
grandfather was a district judge. She did her BSc. in
Chemistry from Madras Christian College and
subsequently earned a Master's Degree in Finance and Marketing from IIM Calcutta.
Indra Nooyi also holds a Master's Degree in Public and Private management from the
Yale School of Management.

Before joining PepsiCo in 1994, Indra Nooyi was Senior Vice President of Strategy
and Strategic Marketing for Asea Brown Boveri, and Vice President and Director of
Corporate Strategy and Planning at Motorola. She also had stints at Mettur Beardsell
and Johnson & Johnson. At PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi played key roles in the Tricon spin-
off, the purchase of Tropicana, the public offering of Pepsi Cola bottling group and
the merger with Quaker Foods.

Indra Nooyi has been ranked No.4 on Forbes magazine's annual survey of the 100
most powerful women in the world.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Jagdish N. Bhagwati
Economist
Jagdish Bhagwati, renowned professor, member of UN Secretary General Kofi
Annan's High-level Advisory Group and the External
Advisor to the Director General World Trade Organisation
(WTO), is regarded as one of the foremost international trade
economists of his generation.
He was born in Mumbai, India in the year1934. He did his
B.com from Mumbai in 1954 and post graduated in l956
from Cambridge University with a first in Economics
Tripos. He then did his Ph.D at MIT (Massachusetts Institute
of Technology) in 1967. After studying in England and the
United States, Bhagwati returned to India in 1961 and served
as Professor of Economics at the Indian Statistical Institute,
and then as Professor of International Trade at the Delhi School of Economics. He
returned to MIT in 1968, leaving it twelve years later to join Columbia, as the Ford
International Professor of Economics. Bhagwati is one of the only 10 scholars who
hold the title of University Professor at Columbia.
Professor Bhagwati has made major contributions to pure theory and is engaged with
major practical policy problems as Economic Adviser to the Director-General of
GATT(1991-1993) and Special Adviser to the United Nations on Globalisation. He is
a Fellow of the Econometric Society and has been elected a member of the American
Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He also writes regularly for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The
Financial Times. He has written or edited 40 books, written hundreds of articles, and
founded and edited two journals, 'Economics and Politics' (1989) and 'The Journal of
International Economics' (1971), the premier journal in the field today. Among his
famous books are 'In Defense of Globalization' (2004);'Free Trade Today' (2002);'The
Wind of the Hundred Days' (2000);'A Stream of Windows' (1998);'India in Transition'
(1993);'World Trading System at Risk' (1991);'Protectionism' (1988); 'Economics &
Politics' (founder-editor); 'The Journal of International Economics' (founder-editor)
etc.
He has been honored with Honorary D.Litt degrees from several universities they are,
Erasmus (Netherlands) and Sussex (UK), South Gujarat University. Among the
awards he has received are the Mahalanobis Memorial Medal ( India ), the Bernhard
Harms Prize (Germany), the Kenan Prize (USA), the John R. Commons Award
(USA), the Freedom Prize (Switzerland), and the Frank E. Seidman Distinguished
Award in Political Economy (USA). Professor Bhagwati has delivered many
prestigious lectures, among them are the Frank
Graham Lecture at Princeton , the Bertil Ohlin
Lectures at the Stockholm School of Economics,
the Harry Johnson Lecture in London, the
Eyskens Lectures in Belgium, the Radhakrishnan
Lectures in Oxford, and the Prebisch Lecture at
UNCTAD IX in Johannesburg.
Bhagwati is currently Director of the Program on
International Migration: Economics, Ethics and
Law at the Columbia University Law School. He
presents himself as the human face of global laissez-faire economics.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA
On the personal front Bhagwati, is now living in America, with his wife Padma Desai,
who is the Gladys and Ronald Harriman Professor Of Comparative Economic
Systems at Columbia University and a scholar of Russian and other former socialist
countries' transition problems. They have one daughter, Anuradha Kristina Bhagwati,
a U.S. Marine officer.
At 70, he is widely tipped as a future Nobel laureate, so respected among his fellow
economists for his insights into the workings of foreign trade.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Jamsetji Tata
Founder of TATA Industries
Jamsetji Tata
Jamsetji

Jamsetji Tata
Born 3 March 1839
Navsari Gujarat, India
Died 19 May 1904
Bad Nauheim, Germany
Occupation Businessman
Spouse Hirabai Daboo

Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata (March 3, 1839 - May 19, 1904) was a pioneer in the
field of modern industry. He was born in Navsari, Gujarat, India.

He founded what would later become the Tata Group of companies. Jamsetji Tata is
generally accepted to be the "father of Indian industry".

Early life

Jamshedji Tata was born to Nusserwanji and Jeevanbai Tata on 3 March 1839 in
Navsari, a small town in South Gujarat. Nusserwanji Tata was the first businessman
in a family of Parsi Zoroastrian priests. He moved to Bombay and started trading.

Jamshedji joined him in Bombay at the age of 14 and enrolled at the Elphinstone
College. He was married to Hirabai Daboo while he was still a student. He graduated
from college in 1858 and joined his father's trading firm. It was a turbulent time to
step into business as the Indian Rebellion of 1857 had just been crushed by the British
government.

Business

Jamsetji worked in his father's firm till the age of 29. In 1868, he started a trading
company with a seed capital of Rs. 21,000. In 1869, he acquired a bankrupt oil mill in
Chinchpokli, converted it into a cotton mill and renamed the mill to Alexandra Mill.
He sold the mill two years later for a healthy profit. Thereafter he set up a cotton mill
in Nagpur in 1874. He christened it Empress Mill on 1 January, 1877 when Queen
Victoria was proclaimed empress of India.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA
The period following the establish of Empress Mill was the most poignant period of
Jamsetji's life. Over the next thirty years till his death in 1904, Jamsetji laid the
foundations for the Tata Group as we know it today.

He devoted himself to bringing to fruition three of his key ideas: setting up an iron
and steel company, a world class learning institution and a hydro electric plant.
Ironically none of the ideas became a reality during his lifetime.

However, the foundations laid by him and hard work by his successors ensured that
each of the ideas were eventually established and are respectable entities in their
respective fields today:

• Tata Steel (formerly TISCO - Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited) is Asia's
first and India's largest integrated private sector steel company producing 4
million tonnes of steel annually.
• The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is a premier post-graduate institution of
research and higher learning located in Bangalore, India offering postgraduate
and doctoral research programmes to over 2,000 active researchers working in
48 specialized departments.
• The Tata Power Company Limited is India’s largest private sector electricity
generating company with an installed generation capacity of over 2300 MW.

Among his notable ventures that did bear fruition during his lifetime was the
historical Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba district in Mumbai. The hotel was completed for
a princely sum of Rs. 4,21,00,000 on 16 December, 1903.

Legacy

The company started by Jamsetji Tata came to be known as the Tata Group and is
today among the largest and most respected companies of India.

Jamsetji, was however, known for much more than just starting a company. He was a
pioneer in his field and thought way ahead of his times.

When he started the Empress Mills in Nagpur, he didn't just think of novel ways to
manufacture textiles, he also put in place very good labour practices. This was long
before any labour laws came into existence.

He was also a nationalist. Though India remained under British rule while he was
alive, he interacted with activists such as Dadabhai Naoroji and Pherozeshah Mehta.
He was strongly influenced by their thinking. However, he always maintained that
political freedom must be accompanied by economic self sufficiency. Not only did he
manage to create thousands of jobs, he paved the way for many future enterprises.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Kumar Mangalam Birla


Born: June 14, 1967
Achievement: Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group; Vhosen as Ernst & Young
Entrepreneur of the Year - India in 2005

Kumar Mangalam Birla is the Chairman of the


Aditya Birla Group. The group is India's third
largest business house. Major companies of
Aditya Birla Group in India are Grasim, Hindalco,
UltraTech Cement, Aditya Birla Nuvo and Idea
Cellular. Aditya Birla Group's joint ventures
include Birla Sun Life (Financial Services) and
Birla NGK (Insulators). The group also has its
presence in various countries such as Thailand,
Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Egypt, Canada,
China and Australia.

Born on June 14, 1967, Kumar Mangalam Birla


spent the early of his life in Calcutta and Mumbai. He is a Chartered Accountant and
did his MBA (Masters in Business Administration) from the London Business School,
London. Kumar Mangalam Birla took over as Chairman in 1995, at the age of 28,
after sudden demise of his father, noted industrialist Aditya Birla, after whom the
group is named.

When Kumar Mangalam Birla assumed the mantle at the Aditya Birla Group, Doubts
were raised about his ability to handle a giant business house with interests spanning
viscose, textiles and garments on the one hand and cement, aluminium and fertilisers
on the other. But Kumar Mangalam proved his skeptics wrong. He brought in radical
changes, changed business strategies, professionalised the entire group and replaced
internal systems. Kumar Mangalam reduced his group's dependence on the cyclic
commodities sectors by entering consumer products.

Under Kumar Mangalam Birla's leadership, the Aditya Birla Group, apart from
consolidating its position in existing businesses, also ventured into sunrise sectors like
cellular telephony, asset management, software and BPO.

Kumar Mangalam Birla also holds several key positions on various regulatory and
professional boards, including chairmanship of the advisory committee constituted by
the ministry of company affairs for 2006 and 2007, membership of the prime minister
of India's advisory council on trade and industry, chairmanship of the board of trade
reconstituted by the union minister of commerce and industry, and membership of the
Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India.

Kumar Mangalam Birla has won several honors. Major among them include The
Business Leader of the Year (2003) by The Economic Times, Business Man of the
Year - 2003 by Business India, and The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year -
India in 2005.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Lakshmi Mittal
Chairman and CEO of Mittal Steel

Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, the 56 year old non resident Indian living in Britain,
rose into focus this year when he was named the third richest person in the world (net
worth $25-billion in 2005) by the Forbes Magazine after
Microsoft chief Bill Gates and US investment guru Warren
Buffett. He was also listed as the richest person in Britain in
the Sunday Times Rich list 2005. Mittal heads the multi
national Steel Company Mittal Steel, the largest producer of
steel in the world.
Lakshmi Narayan Mittal alias Lakshmi Niwas Mittal was born
on June 15th, 1950, in Sadulpur, a village which didn't have
electricity until 1960's, in Rajasthan, India. His family moved
to Calcutta in West Bengal, where he studied accounting and business at the
prestigious St. Xavier’s College. His father Mohan Lal Mittal had set up a small steel
mill in Calcutta. After class, Mittal used to work in his father's company.
After finishing his Bachelor of Commerce degree in business and accounting with
first class, Mittal began his career in his father's steel firm in the early
seventies. Realizing the fact that opportunities in India are limited for him, Mittal
moved to Indonesia in 1976 and with his father's backing founded a steel plant, Ispat
Indo and made the company a success. There began a saga of triumphs for the shrewd
businessman.
His success has largely been built on buying up loss-making state-owned mills and
quickly turning them around. He had one of his most notable successes in the late
1989, when he turned around a loss-making government-founded steel firm in
Trinidad and Tobago which was losing $1 million a day. Within a year, Mittal had
doubled the output and made the business profitable where US consultants and
German experts failed to find a solution.
In 1992, he went to Mexico and bought the country's third largest steel producer,
Sicartsa for $220 million. This was followed by an acquisition of Siderurgica del
Balsas SA at Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico and then more companies in Canada,
Germany, Ireland etc. Mittal followed the same strategy in former Soviet republic of
Kazakhstan, and took over the state-owned blast furnace steel plant in 1995, renaming
it Ispat Karmet. It was a risky proposition even by Mittal’s standards, workers had not
been paid for six months. But within a year it was profitable and production has
doubled from 120,000 tons a month to 250,000. In 1995, two new companies Ispat
International Ltd. and Ispat Shipping were formed to provide technical and
commercial services to the Group and to meet its growing shipping needs. The same
year, he entered into Europe by acquiring a steel plant in Hamburg, Germany. With
this, the capacity of the group reached to 11.2 million tonnes.
Meanwhile in 1994, a partition in the family business group, transferred all the
foreign business into Ispat International, under the control of Lakshmi Mittal. The
Indian operations remained with his younger brothers P K Mittal and V K Mittal. In
1997, Ispat International, the company that controlled the Group’s steel making
operations in Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and Germany went for listing in
1997 on the New York and Amsterdam stock exchanges. The Ispat group went on
making major acquisitions.
In 2004, Mittal Steel was formed through the merger of Ispat International and LNM
Holdings, at the same time Ispat International merged with International Steel Group

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA
Inc. (ISG) an Ohio based company, becoming the world's most global steel producer
with a net worth of over $22 billion. Mittal's industrial empire has steel making
facilities in 14 countries and stretches from Indonesia to Poland, via Mexico, US,
South Africa and Trinidad, North America, Africa, Asia and many European
countries. In 2006, after six months of negotiations and major oppositions Mittal steel
took over European steel giant Arselor SA for 26 billion euros ($33 billion),
becoming the world's largest 100 million tonne steel entity. The merged entity would
be called Arcelor Mittal with the Mittal family owning 43.6 percent of the combined
group.
Mittal has received accolades for his achievements. In 1996, he was awarded the title
'Steel maker of the Year' by New Steel Magazine in the USA, and he received the
Eighth Honorary Willy Korf Steel Vision Award, the highest recognition for world
wide achievement in the steel industry in June 1998. The award was presented by the
American Metal Market, a specialised publication, and Paine Weber’s World Steel
Dynamics in New York., for outstanding vision, entrepreneurship, leadership and
success in global steel development, from the American Metal Market and Paine
Weber’s World Steel Dynamics. In 2004, he was awarded the 'European Business
man of the year' by Fortune Magazine.
Although steel manufacturing remains the group’s mainstream business, they have
diversified into shipping and has ventured into coal, power and oil enterprises in
Kazakhstan.
Mittal is an active philanthropist and a member of various trusts. The LNM Group
Foundation was created in 1998 to support health and education needs of the poor,
particularly in India. He resides in a palatial home known as Summer Palace, in
London that he bought in 2003 for a residential record of $129 million. On the rare
occasions when he is at home, Mittal keeps a disciplined schedule, doing yoga for an
hour every day and trying to catch a swim in his indoor pool. His wife Usha runs the
Indonesian business and his son Aditya and daughter Vanisha are members of the
Board of Directors of Mittal Steel.
The business empire has also been in the news for showering money on his two
children. His daughter Vanisha's wedding to Delhi-born investment banker Amit
Bhatia in 2004 June is reputed to have cost more than $55-million, with five days of
events at some of France's most famous settings, including the 17th century Vaux le
Vicomte chateau. For the wedding of his son Aditya in 1998, the Mittal family
celebrated at Calcutta's Victoria Memorial, home to mementos of Britain's rule over
India.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Mallika Srinivasan
Economic Times Businesswoman of the year 2006, she is a
well known entrepreneur of India. She has always strived hard
to reach for skies, but has deeply rooted her foot into the
ground. She is a strong headed woman, who is leading the
activities of a Company that is involved in macho business
such as tractor manufacturing. She has been able to rise and
stand out above all others and make a name for herself in the
competitive business world of today. Well, we are talking
about Mallika Srinivasan, director of the Rs 2500 crore
Amalgamations Group Tafe. Mallika Srinivasan is one of the
most successful women CEOs in India. In this article, we will present you with the
biography of Mallika Srinivasan, so read on…

Life History

Born on November 19, 1959 as the eldest daughter of industrialist A Sivasailam, she
is the pride of her parents. She was always brilliant in academics. She did her in MA
(econometrics) from Madras University. Thereafter, she went abroad to pursue further
studies. She did her MBA from the Wharton School of the University of
Pennsylvania. Married to Venu Srinivasan, the CMD of TVS Motor, she is living
happily with their two children.

In the year 1986, she planned to join the family business. She was made the General
Manager of Tafe (Tractors and Farm Equipment) Company. When she took over the
responsibility of furthering the economic wealth and business, the turnover of the
Company was Rs 85 cr. Under the expert guidance of her father and the whole hearted
support of the team, she brought about a major transformation. She converted Tafe
into a hi technology-oriented company, thereby becoming the initial choice of the
farmers. There was a period, when the Company had to face a tough time, however;
even then, the Company invested a huge amount of over Rs 70 crore in the designing
and development of product.

At present, the Company is earning a business over Rs 1,200 cr. It has been a long
journey for the Company, which has witnessed many ups and downs. But, it was the
strong determination of this courageous woman that slowly and steadily made the
firm climb the ladders of success. Today, the Company has not only found a niche for
itself as the leading tractor manufacturer, but also expanded its area of operations. It
has also entered into others businesses like engineering plastics, panel instruments,
automotive batteries gears, hydraulic pumps, and farm implements.

The company has had a long alliance with Massey Ferguson, which is now a part of
Agco. The company is looking forward to exporting fully constructed tractors to
Agco. Presently, Agro has a stake of 24% in the company and the rest lies with
Simpson & Co. Presently, Mallika Srinivasan is serving as the president of premier
industrial bodies like Tractor Manufacturers Association and the Madras Management
Association. She is the first lady to have assumed the role of a president of the Madras

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA
Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is also a prominent member of the
governing board of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Mira Nair
Documentarist, Director
Ms Mira Nair was born in 1958 in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa. Her parents are from
Punjab. At the age of 13, she attended a boarding school
in Shimla, where she became a passionate student of
dramatics and acted in school theatre productions. After
graduating from New Delhi, she went to United States on
a theater scholarship to Harvard.
Mira began her career as a documentarist and later turned
to commercial films. The film titled 'India Cabaret'
brought her the American Film Festival Award for the
best documentary of 1985. She won her first film award,
the 'Golden Camera' from the Cannes Film Festival for
her renowned film 'Salaam Bombay' and this film was
nominated for Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1988. Her movies, 'Mississippi Masala'
won rave reviews in Europe and 'Kamasutra - A tale of love' got world wide attention
for being provocative.
She won the 'Golden Lion' award for her film 'Monsoon Wedding' at the Venice Film
Festival in 2001. This movie narrates the happenings of a Punjabi wedding and the
bride having second thoughts about her arranged marriage. It was the first time an
Indian film or particularly a woman is winning the Golden Lion award in the Venice
Film Festival. Mira's future projects include a Hollywood production with a film
based on Edith Wharton's novel "A Mother's Recompense".

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani (April 19, 1957 Aden, Yemen) is the chairman, managing director
and the largest shareholder of Reliance Industries, India's largest private sector
company and a Fortune 500 Company. His personal stake in Reliance Industries is
48%. His wealth is US$ 20.1 billion as of March 2007 (Forbes), making him the
world's 14th richest person and the second richest person
in India. However, his wealth was valued at US$ 40
billion in July taking into account his holding in Reliance
Industries and group companies. Mukesh and younger
brother Anil are sons of the late founder of Reliance
Industries, Dhirubhai Ambani.
A brilliant student, Mukesh holds a Bachelor of Chemical
Engineering from the University of Mumbai Department
of Chemical Technology (UDCT), which is now known
as University of Mumbai, Institute of Chemical
Technology (UICT). He began the MBA program at Stanford Business School, but
dropped out after his first year in order assist in father's ongoing efforts to build the
Patalganga petrochemical Plant.
Mukesh Ambani joined Reliance in 1981 and initiated Reliance's backward
integration from textiles into polyester fibres and further into petrochemicals. In this
process, he directed the creation of 60 new, world-class manufacturing facilities
involving diverse technologies that have raised Reliance's manufacturing capacities
from less than a million tonnes to twelve million tonnes per year.
He directed and led the creation of the world's largest grassroots petroleum refinery at
Jamnagar, India, with a present capacity of 660,000 barrels per day (33 million tonnes
per year) integrated with petrochemicals, power generation, port and related
infrastructure, at an investment of Rs 100000 crore (nearly $24 billion USD).
Mukesh Ambani has set up the largest and most complex information and
communications technology initiative in the world in the form of Reliance Infocomm
Limited. Covering more than 1,100 towns and cities across India, Reliance Infocomm
offers the full range of voice, data, video and value added services, on the strength of
80,000 kilometers of optic fibre-based terabit infrastructure, at the lowest entry cost
and services cost anywhere in the world. However, Reliance Infocom now is under
ADAG (Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group) post the brothers' split.
Mukesh Ambani is also steering Reliance's initiatives in a world scale, offshore, deep
water oil and gas exploration and production program, a pan-India petroleum retail
network involving 5,800 outlets and a research-led life sciences initiative covering
medical, plant and industrial biotechnology.
The combined market capitalisation of the four Mukesh Ambani Group companies --
RIL, Reliance Petroleum (RPL), IPCL and Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Ltd
(RIIL) has crossed the Rs 260,000 crore mark. The total promoter holding in these
companies is worth over Rs 160,000 crore (US$ 40 billion) making him the first
Rupee trillionaire residing in India.
Mukesh Ambani is married to Nita Ambani. Dhirubhai Ambani International School
in Mumbai is a brainchild of Nita Ambani. Mukesh and Nita have 3 children: Akash,
Isha and Anant, all three are currently studying in DAIS. Anant in Std 7 while Isha
and Akash in the IB.
Conferred the United States-India Business Council (USIBC) leadership award for
"Global Vision" 2007 in Washington.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA
Ranked 42nd among the World's Most Respected Business Leaders and second among
the four Indian CEOs featured in a survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and
published in [Financial Times]
Conferred the World Communication Award for the Most Influential Person in
Telecommunications in 2004 by Total Telecom, October, 2004.
Chosen Telecom Man of the Year 2004 by Voice and Data magazine, September
2004.
Ranked 13th in Asia's Power 25 list of The Most Powerful People in Business
published by Fortune magazine, August 2004.
Conferred the Asia Society Leadership Award by the Asia Society, Washington D.C.,
USA, May 2004.
Ranked No.1 for the second consecutive year, in The Power List 2004 published by
India Today, March 2004.
Recorded as the first Trillionaire in India, June 2007
Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Group has been appointed as founder president of the
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Petroleum University, which has been established by the
State Act passed in February 2007.
Under the aegis of the university, Institute of Petroleum Management(IPMG) and
Institute of Petroleum Technology(IPTG)

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Naina Lal Kidwai


A prominent personality of the corporate world, she is
the first woman to guide the functioning of a foreign
bank in India. At present, she is working as the Group
General Manager and Country Head of HSBC India.
Well, we are talking about the corporate diva Naina Lal
Kidwai. In this article, we will present you with the
biography of Naina Lal Kidwai.

She was born in the year 1957. Raised in Mumbai and


Delhi, she did her schooling from Simla. Alumna of
Delhi University, she is the first Indian woman to have
graduated from Harvard Business School. She is among
the top business women of India, who have made it to the top with their constant hard
work and sincerity. To know the complete life history of Naina Lal Kidwai, read on.

She began her career in the year 1982, when she joined the ANZ Grindlays Bank,
which is now known as the Standard Chartered Bank. She took up a variety of
banking assignments before moving to Morgan Stanley's India operation. She kept
climbing the ladders of success. She played an important role in NYSE listing of
Wipro. She was instrumental in facilitating the cellular phone services nationwide
through a deal involving the Tatas and Birlas. Last November, she became the
Managing Director of the HSBC bank.

In the year 2000, the Fortune magazine declared her as the third most powerful
businesswoman in Asia. She is the mother of two children, who is maintaining a great
balance between work and home. She is very fond of Indian classical as well as
western music. She loves to go on trekking tours to the Himalayas. She is a nature
lover, who has a keen interest in observing the wildlife. For her praiseworthy work,
Naina Lal Kidwai has received many accolades. Her commendable work has been
given due recognition by honoring her with the Padmashri award.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Nandan Nilekani
Achievement: CEO and Managing Director of the Infosys; Conferred the Padma
Bhushan in 2006.

Nandan Nilekani is the CEO and


managing director of the Infosys.
Along with Narayan Murthy, he
was one of the co-founders of
Infosys. He has served as a
director on the company's board
since its inception in 1981.
Before assuming the post of CEO
in March 2002, Nandan Nilekani
held the post of Managing
Director, President and Chief
Operating Officer.

Nandan Nilekani was born in Bangalore. His father Mohan Nilekani was a manager in
Minerva Mills. Nandan Nilekani had his initial schooling in Bangalore. Due to his
father's transferable job Nandan moved to his uncle's place at Dharwad at the age of
12. This taught Nandan Nilekani to be independent. In 1973, at the age of 18, Nandan
Nilekani got admission in IIT Mumbai. The stint at IIT Mumbai transformed Nandan
Nilekani from a small town boy to a confident mature man. The lessons he learnt
here-meritocracy; the ability to work as part of a team; hard work; and the importance
of giving back to the society-have stood him in good stead.

After graduating in electrical engineering from IIT Mumbai in 1978, Nandan Nilekani
joined Patni Computers. Here he worked under Narayan Murthy. Three years later in
1981, Nandan Nilekani along with Narayan Murthy and five other co-founders
founded Infosys. While Narayan Murthy stayed in India, Nandan Nilekani shifted to
the US to take care of Infosys' interests there. He was the company's marketing face.

In 1980s and 90s Nandan Nilekani and his team worked hard to build Infosys. Today
Infosys' success story has become a legend in India's corporate history. Today,
Infosys has an employee strength of 58,000, annual revenue of $2 billion and $21
billion capitalization.

Nandan Nilekani is recipient of several honors and awards. In January 2006, Nandan
became one of the youngest entrepreneurs to join 20 global leaders on the prestigious
World Economic Forum (WEF) Foundation Board. He figures among one of the 100
most influential people in the world by Time Magazine, 2006. In 2005 he was
awarded the prestigious Joseph Schumpeter prize for innovative services in field of
economy, economic sciences and politics. In 2006, Nandan Nilekani was conferred
the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian honors of India.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Narayana Murthy N.R.


Chairman of Infosys Technologies
NR Narayana Murthy, chairman of Infosys Technologies one of the biggest IT empire
in India, was born on August 20, 1946 in Karnataka. Murthy obtained his Bachelor of
Electrical Engineering (B.E.) from University of Mysore in 1967 and his Master of
Technology (M.Tech.) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur in 1969.
In the early seventies, Narayana Murthy took up employment
with SESA in Paris. He worked with a team to design a real
time operating system for handling air cargo for Charles de
Gaulle airport. He came back to India after 3 years and took
up a job with Patni Computer Systems in Pune. In 1981,
Murthy founded Infosys Technologies along with six software
professionals which later became one of the leading software
company. In March 1999, Infosys became the first India-
registered company to be listed on an American stock
exchange.
Personally, Murthy is known for his simplicity and helping mentality. He founded the
Infosys Foundation, a social welfare trust for helping the needy. He has a liking for
Western Classical music and has liberal ideas. Murthy's ability to put forth his
viewpoints and all his other qualities make him a unique personality.
Murthy holds several coveted positions. He was the President of National Association
of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) from 1992 to 1994. He is a
member of the National Information Technology Task Force of India, the Prime
Minister's Council on Trade and Industry, Asia Society's International Council and
Board of Councilors of the University of Southern California School of Engineering.
He is a Director on the board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and is also on the
Wharton Business School's Asian Executive Board.
Murthy was honoured by 'JRD Tata Corporation Leadership Award' in 1996-97,
'Alumni Award' in 1998, 'The ET Businessperson of the Year Award' in 2000-2001
and 'The Max Schmidheiny Award' in 2001. He was chosen as the Business India's
'Businessman of the Year 1999', the Indian corporate world's most coveted award.
The credit goes to Mr. Murthy for making India one of the known names in the IT
world.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Naresh Goyal
Achievement: Founder Chairman of Jet Airways; Recipient of the first BM Munjal
Award for Excellence in Learning &
Development in the Private Sector category in
2006.

Naresh Goyal is the founder Chairman of Jet


Airways, India's largest domestic airline. Jet
Airways presently operates over 320 flights
daily to 48 destinations, of which five are
international. Naresh Goel also figures in Forbes
list of Indian billionaires.

Naresh Goyal completed his graduation in Commerce in 1967 and joined the travel
business with the GSA for Lebanese International Airlines. From 1967 to 1974 he
learnt the intricacies of the travel business through his association with several foreign
airlines.

In May 1974, Naresh Goyal founded Jetair (Private) Limited to look after Sales and
Marketing operations of foreign airlines in India. Naresh Goyal was involved in
developing studies of traffic patterns, route structures, and operational economics and
flight scheduling. His rich and varied experience made him an authority in the world
of aviation and travel.

In 1991, when the Indian economy was being opened up, Naresh Goyal took
advantage of Open Skies Policy of the Government of India and set up Jet Airways
for the operation of scheduled air services on domestic sectors in India. Jet Airways
started commercial operations on May 05, 1993.

Today, Jet Airways has evolved into India's largest private domestic airline. Jet
Airways has been voted India's "Best Domestic Airline" by several organisations of
world-class repute. In 2005, Jet Airways came up with an IPO and it was a huge
success. Jet Airways was recently in controversy over its merger deal with Air Sahara.
The merger was called off and the too airlines are currently considering arbitration.

Along with Jet's meteoric rise, Naresh Goyal too rose in the entrepreneurial arena. He
has won several honors and accolades. These include Entrepreneur of the Year Award
for Services' from Ernst & Young in 2000, 'Distinguished Alumni Award-2000 for
meritorious and distinguished performance as an Entrepreneur', Outstanding Asian-
Indian' award for leadership and contribution to the global community given by the
Indian American Centre for Political Awareness, 'Aerospace Laurels' for outstanding
contribution in the field of Commercial Air Transport twice, in April 2000 and
February 2004. Naresh Goyal also received the first BM Munjal Award for
Excellence in Learning & Development in the Private Sector category in 2006.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Oberoi M.S.
Born: August 15, 1898
Achievement: Founder of the Oberoi Group of Hotels; Honored with Padma Bhushan
in 2001.

M.S. Oberoi can be aptly termed as the father of the Indian hotel industry. Rai
Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi was among the first to
recognize the potential of the tourism industry, its
ability to contribute to India's economic growth and
generate direct and indirect employment. He worked
tirelessly to put Indian hotel industry on global tourism
map.

M.S. Oberoi was born on August 15, 1898, in the


erstwhile undivided Punjab, now in Pakistan. He did his
early schooling in Rawalpindi and completed his
graduation from Lahore. In 1922, to escape the epidemic of Plague, he came to
Shimla, and got a job of front desk clerk, at The Cecil Hotel at a salary of Rs 50 per
month.

M.S. Oberoi was a quick learner and shouldered many additional responsibilities
along with the job of desk clerk. M. S. Oberoi's diligence prompted Mr. Clarke to
request Mohan Singh Oberoi to assist him when he acquired Clarkes Hotel. At the
Clarkes Hotel, M.S. Oberoi gained first hand experience in all aspects of hotel
operations.

In 1934, M.S. Oberoi acquired The Clarkes Hotel from his mentor, by mortgaging his
wife's jewelry and all his assets. In 1938, he signed a lease to takeover operations of
the five hundred room Grand Hotel in Calcutta, which was up for sale following a
cholera epidemic.

In 1943, Rai Bahadur Mohan Singh Oberoi, acquired the controlling interest in the
Associated Hotels of India (AHI) which owned the Cecil, and Corstophans in Shimla,
the Maidens and the Imperial in Delhi, and a hotel each in Lahore, Murree,
Rawalpindi and Peshawar. He thus became the first Indian to run the largest and finest
hotel chain.

In 1959, The Oberoi Group became the first group to start flight catering operations in
India. In 1965, M.S. Oberoi opened the first modern, five star international hotel in
the country, The Oberoi Intercontinental, in Delhi. In 1966 he established the
prestigious Oberoi School of Hotel Management, recognized by the International
Hotel Association in Paris. In 1973, The Oberoi Group opened the 35 storey Oberoi
Sheraton in Mumbai. Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi was the first to employ women in the
hospitality sector.

Today, The Oberoi Group owns or manages 37 luxury and first class international
hotels in seven countries.

M.S. Oberoi was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1962 and in 1972. He was also elected
to the Lok Sabha in 1968.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

M.S. Oberoi was recipient of many awards and honours. In 1943, he was conferred
the title of Rai Bahadur by the British Government. Other honors include admission to
the Hall of Fame by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA); Man of The
World by the International Hotel Association (IHA) New York; named by Newsweek
as one of the "Elite Winners of 1978" and the PHDCCI Millennium award in 2000.
M.S. Oberoi was honored with Padma Bhushan in 2001.

M.S. Oberoi passed away on May 3, 2002 at the age of 103.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Pratap Reddy Dr.


Achievement: Founder of the Apollo Hospital Group

Dr. Pratap Reddy is the founder of the Apollo Hospital Group, India's first corporate
hospital group. He
revolutionized the whole
health care scenario of
India and inspired others to
follow the suit. Today,
India has over 750
corporate hospitals all over
the country.

Dr. Pratap Reddy came to


India after serving as the
Chief Resident of the
Worcenter City Hospital in
the US to start his practice
in Madras with a modest
earning of Rs 100/- per day. The idea to establish Apollo Group of Hospitals came
when Dr. Reddy lost a patient who couldn't make it to Texas for an open heart
surgery. This inspired Dr. Pratap Reddy to create world-class medical infrastructure in
India and make it more accessible and affordable to common people. Dr. Reddy's
efforts bore fruit when he succeeded in setting up the first center of the Apollo
Hospitals Group in Chennai in 1983.

Dr, Pratap Reddy soon followed this with India 's first hospital consultancy body - the
Indian Hospitals Corporation - and commissioned two more Tertiary Care Centers in
India. Since its inception, Apollo has demonstrated that Indian skills are equivalent to
the best centers in the world and has produced world-class results in the most
complicated Cadaver Transplant. Today, the Apollo Hospitals Group has over 22
centers in major cities in India and a combined turnover of over US $ 100 million.

Dr Reddy is now spreading Apollo Hospitals Group to other parts of Asia. The group
opened its first clinic in Dubai in March 1999 and is coming up with projects in Sri
Lanka, Africa, Bangladesh, and Oman. Dr. Reddy is currently looking at secondary
health centers in semi urban and smaller cities and has already identified 23 sites for
the purpose.

Dr. Pratap Reddy's latest initiatives are "Med Varsity"-a virtual medical university
providing total access to experts in the field of medicine anywhere in the world- and
"MEDNET" - Hospital Systems Management package. Both the initiatives are
expected to transform health care sector in India.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Rahman A.R.
Music Director
A.R.Rahman, (Allah Rakha Rahman) the musical maestro of Indian Cinema was born
on 6th January,1966 in Madras, to a musically affluent
family. This genius with his exceptional talent, has
reached heights of success that people his age can only
dream of. Even then this small man remains humble and
credits all his inspiration and success to Allah.
Born as Dileep Kumar to parents R.K.Sekhar, a music
composer and mother Kasturi (alias Kareema Begum), he
came to be known as A.R Rahman later when the family
converted to Islam. Dileep started learning piano at the
tender age of four. As his father passed away early, the
pressure of supporting the family fell on young Dileep
Kumar.

Dileep joined Illaiyaraja's troupe as a keyboard player at the age of 11 and had to drop
out of school. He also played on the orchestra of M.S.Vishwanathan and Ramesh
Naidu and accompanied Zakir Hussain and Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan on world tours.
All this experience enabled him to earn a scholarship to the famed Trinity College of
Music at Oxford University from where he obtained a degree in Western Classical
Music. After he returned he continued to be a part of various music troupes. He was
also a part of local rock bands like Roots, Magic and Nemesis Avenue where he
performed with his future colleagues like Ranjit Barot and Sivamani. In 1987, he got a
chance to compose a jingle to promote Allwyn's new Trendy range of watches. His
work was appreciated and he got many more offers. He has done jingles for popular
ads like Parry's, Leo Coffee, Boost, Titan, Premier Pressure Cooker, Asian Paints etc.
Rahman went on to compose more than 300 jingles and received awards and
recognition for his work, in the five years he continued in advertising.
In 1989, he started a small studio of his own, called Panchathan Record Inn, attached
to his house. It was here that he began experimenting in sound engineering, design
and production. The turning point in his life was when he met the famous director
Mani Ratnam and was signed on to compose music for his super hit film 'Roja'.
Rahman got the national award for the best music director that year. From then on
there was no looking back for him. He got offers from a lot of directors from the south
and the Hindi film 'Rangeela' and later 'Bombay' established his popularity in the
north too. Rahman music wave arrived with a big bang in the tinsel world with sales
of more than 40 million albums over a period of 3 years. He has also dabbled in
playback singing with songs like 'Hamma Hamma' in Bombay, 'Dil Se Re' in Dil Se
etc.

Apart from making music for films, Rahman has also done compositions for patriotic
albums like ' Vande Mataram' a tribute to the motherland released simultaneously in
28 countries across the world and 'Jana Gana Mana' which brought together many of
the countries classical and contemporary musical maestros, both released under the
prestigious Label of Sony Music. He has also worked and performed with
internationally reputed artists such as Apache Indian, David Byrne, Michael Jackson
and with Andrew Webber Lloyd for his album 'Bombay Dreams'. He has received
numerous awards in recognition of his talent. Padmasree from the government of
India in 2000 being one of them.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Rahul Bajaj
Achievement: Chairman of the Bajaj Group

Rahul Bajaj is the Chairman of the Bajaj Group, which ranks among the top 10
business houses in India. The Bajaj Group has
diversified interests ranging from automobiles, home
appliances, lighting, iron and steel, insurance, travel
and finance. Rahul Bajaj is one of India's most
distinguished business leaders and internationally
respected for his business acumen and entrepreneurial
spirit.

Rahul Bajaj is an alumnus of Harvard, St. Stephen's


and Cathedral. He took over the reins of Bajaj Group
in 1965. Under his stewardship, the turnover of the
Bajaj Auto the flagship company has risen from Rs.72
million to Rs.46.16 billion. Rahul Bajaj created one of
India's best companies in the difficult days of the
licence-permit raj. He established factories at Akurdi
and Waluj. In 1980s Bajaj Auto was top scooter producer in India and its Chetak
brand had a 10-year waiting period.

The initiation of liberalization in India posed great challenges for Bajaj Auto.
Liberalisation brought the threat of cheap imports and FDI from top companies like
Honda. Rahul Bajaj became famous as the head of the Bombay Club, which opposed
liberalization. The scooter sails plummeted as people were more interested in
motorcycles and the rival Hero Honda was a pioneer in it.

The recession and stock market collapse of 2001 hit the company hard and it was
predicted that the days of Bajaj Auto were numbered. However, Bajaj Auto re-
invented itself, established a world-class factory in Chakan, invested in R&D and
came up with Bajaj Pulsar Motorcycle. Bajaj Pulsar is currently a leader in its
segment.

Recently, Rahul Bajaj was elected to Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Raj Reddy Professor


Computer Scientist

Professor Raj Reddy, one of the prominent scientists in computer science in the US, is
presently serving as the Director of the West Coast campus of Carnegie Mellon
University, USA.
Professor Reddy a native Indian, earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from
Guindy Engineering college of the University of
Madras, India, in 1958 and a Master's degree in
technology from the University of New South Wales,
Australia, in 1960. He received a doctor's degree in
Computer science from Stanford University in 1966
and the same year began his academic career as an
Assistant Professor in the same University.
Since 1969 for over three decades, the professor has
been a member of the Carnegie Mellon University
faculty. He served as the Founding Director of the
Robotics Institute at the University from 1979 to
1991. For the next ten years, he served as the Dean and
professor of Computer Science and Robotics, at the
School of Computer Science and now as the Director
of the West coast campus.
Dr. Reddy's research interests include the study of human-computer interaction and
artificial intelligence. His main area of work is in artificial intelligence in particular
with computers that can see, hear, walk , talk etc. His current research project include
speech recognition and universal digital libraries, an Information Appliance for rural
environments for use by illiterate people, where all creative works of the human race
are available to anyone anywhere.
Professor Raj Reddy's achievements are many. He is a Fellow of the Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Acoustical Society of America and the
American Association of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). He was elected a member of
the National Academy of Engineering in 1984 and also awarded the Legion of Honor
by President Mitterand of France. He is a member of the Computer Science and
Telecommunications Board of the National Academy of Sciences and was Chairman
of the DARPA Information Science and Technology Group from 1987 to 1990. He
was president of AAAI from 1987 to 1989. He is on the Technology Advisory Board
of Microsoft Corp. and received the IBM Research Ralph E. Gomory Visiting Scholar
Award in 1991. He was the Co-Chair of the PITAC (President's Information
Technology Advisory Committee) from 1999 to 2001under both Clinton and Bush.
In 1994, Professor Redy received jointly with Edward Peigenbaum, the Turing
Award which is the most prestigious in the computer science "For pioneering the
design and construction of large scale artificial intelligence systems, demonstrating
the practical importance and potential commercial impact of artificial intelligence
technology". He also received the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award for his
outstanding contributions in computer science and information technology from
President K.R. Narayanan of India in an award ceremony in New Delhi. He has been
awarded honorary doctorates (Doctor of Science Honoris Causa) from SV University
in India, Universite Henri-Poincare in France, University of New South Wales in
Australia, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India, University of

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA
Massachusetts in USA, University of Warwick in England, Anna University in India
and the Indian Institute for Information Technology (Allahabad) .
On the personal front, Dr. Reddy's hobbies include walking and mainly reading. He
lives in Pittsburgh with his wife of 37 years and they have two daughters. His
daughters live on the West Coast, in Silicon Valley, California. He visits his native
country once a year, his seven brothers and sister live near Bangalore.
Today, this brilliant scientist is among the most respected names in the US in the field
of robotics and artificial intelligence.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Ramalinga Raju
Of Satyam Industries
Born: September 16, 1954
Achievement: Founder and Chairman of
Satyam Computer Services Ltd; Chosen as
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for
Services in 1999

Ramalinga Raju is one of the pioneers of the


Information Technology industry in India.
He is the founder and Chairman of Satyam
Computer Services Ltd.

Ramalinga Raju was born on September 16,


1954 in a family of farmers. He did his B.
Com from Andhra Loyola College at
Vijayawada and subsequently did his MBA
from Ohio University, USA. Ramalinga
Raju had a stint at Harvard too. He attended
the Owner / President course at Harvard.

After returning to India in 1977, Ramalinga


Raju moved away from the traditional
agriculture business and set up a spinning
and weaving mill named Sri Satyam. .
Thereafter he shifted to the real estate business and started a construction company
called Satyam Constructions. In 1987, Ramalinga Raju founded Satyam Computer
Services along with one of his brothers-in-law, DVS Raju. The company went public
in 1992. With the launch of Satyam Infoway (Sify) Satyam became one of the first to
enter Indian internet service market. Today, Satyam has a global presence and serves
44 Fortune 500 and over 390 multinational corporations.

Ramalinga Raju has won several awards and honors. These include Ernst & Young
Entrepreneur of the Year for Services in 1999, Dataquest IT Man of the Year in 2000,
and CNBC's Asian Business Leader - Corporate Citizen of the Year award in 2002.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Ramoji Rao
Cherukuri Ramoji Rao, better known as Ramoji Rao (b. 16 November 1936) is an
Indian businessman and entrepreneur in the media business.
He is head of the Ramoji Group which owns, among others,
the world's largest film production facility called Ramoji
film city. Film city is situated near Hayathnagar; about 25
kms from Hyderabad on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada
Highway.
Rao was born in Gudivada, Krishna District, Andhra
Pradesh, into an agricultural family. Some of the companies
owned by the Ramoji group include Margadarsi Chit Fund,
Eenadu newspaper, ETV, Priya Foods, Ushakiron Movies
and as mentioned above, the Ramoji Film City near
Hyderabad.
In one of the largest investment deals in the media sector,
global private equity firm Blackstone Capital Blackstone Group has acquired around a
26 per cent stake in Ushodaya Enterprises Ltd (UEL), the holding company that runs
Andhra Pradesh's Eenadu group, for $275 million. It also gets a seat on its board.
Akhil Gupta, chairman and managing director of Blackstone Advisors India Private
Limited, said: "We believe that the Indian media sector will be a key beneficiary of a
secular trend in growth in personal consumption that is driving India's economic
expansion." This in turn would spur advertising growth and the UEL would be an
ideal platform for Blackstone to play on this highly attractive sector in India.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Ratan Tata
Born: December 28, 1937
Achievement: Honored with Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian awards in
2000.

Ratan Tata is presently the Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata
Group. Ratan Naval Tata is also the
Chairman of the major Tata companies such
as Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Tata
Consultancy Services, Tata Tea, Tata
Chemicals, Indian Hotels and Tata
Teleservices. He has taken Tata Group to
new heights and under his leadership
Group's revenues have grown manifold.

Ratan Tata was born on December 28, 1937,


in Bombay. He received a Bachelor of
Science degree in architecture from Cornell
University in 1962. Ratan Tata had a short
stint with Jones and Emmons in Los
Angeles, California, before returning to
India in late 1962. He joined the Tata Group
and was assigned to various companies
before being appointed director-in-charge of
The National Radio & Electronics Company (NELCO) in 1971. Ratan Tata was
appointed Chairman of Tata Industries in 1981. He was assigned the task of
transforming the company into a Group strategy think-tank, and a promoter of new
ventures in high technology businesses.

In 1991, Ratan Tata took over the Chairmanship from JRD Tata. Under him Tata
Consultancy Services went public and Tata Motors was listed in the New York Stock
Exchange. In 1998, Tata Motors came up with Tata Indica, the first truly Indian car.
The car was the brainchild of Ratan Tata.

Ratan Tata was honored with Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian awards in
2000. He was also conferred an honorary doctorate in business administration by
Ohio State University, an honorary doctorate in technology by the Asian Institute of
Technology, Bangkok, and an honorary doctorate in science by the University of
Warwick.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Raunaq Singh
Born: 1922
Achievement: Founder of Raunaq Group; Elected as a member of the Executive
Board of the International Chamber of Commerce, Paris

Raunaq Singh was one of the earliest entrepreneurs of


independent India who made it big. He was the founder of
Raunaq group. The Raunaq Group's major companies include
Apollo Tyres Ltd, Bharat Gears Ltd, Bharat Steel Tubes Ltd,
Raunaq International Ltd, Menarini Raunaq Pharma Ltd, and
Raunaq Automotive Components Ltd.

Raunaq Singh was born in 1922. After initial struggle he went on to become a
powerful figure in corporate India. At one point of time in his life he could afford
only one paisa a day for meals and when he retired his group was employing 9000
people on his payroll.

Raunaq Singh was a great advocate of economic liberalization and globalization of


the Indian business. He worked tirelessly to put the Indian industry on the global map.
He held several key leadership positions in Industry & Trade Associations. These
included President Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI),
President The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India
(ASSOCHAM), Chairman Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), Chairman
Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association, and President Federation of Indian
Export Organization.

Raunaq Singh won several awards for his entrepreneurship. He was often referred as
"Mr. Exporter", because of his inclination for exports and export promotion for Indian
Industry. Raunaq Singh also won international recognition for his entrepreneurial
skills. was elected as a member of the Executive Board of the International Chamber
of Commerce, Paris for a three-year term.

Raunaq Singh died on September 30, 2002.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Sabeer Bhatia
Computer Wizard
Sabeer Bhatia, the pioneer in the field of first web based e-mail -
The Hotmail, was born in Chandigarh in the year 1969. He grew
up in Bangalore and had his early education at Bishops Cotton's
School in Pune, then St. Joseph's College in Bangalore. For a
short-time he was a student at the Birla Institute of Technology
(BITS), Pilani and in 1988 he went to US on a Cal Tech Transfer
scholarship to get a bachelor's degree at the California Institute of
Technology. He earned a master's degree in electrical engineering
from Stanford University.
After graduation, Sabeer briefly worked for Apple Computers as a hardware engineer
and Firepower Systems Inc. While working there he was amazed at the fact that he
could access any software on the internet via a web browser. His success graph took
off exponentially when he, along with his colleague Jack Smith, set up Hotmail on 4th
July 1996. Today, Hotmail remains the world's largest e-mail provider with over 50
million registered users. As President and CEO, he guided Hotmail's rapid rise to
industry leadership and its eventual acquisition by Microsoft in 1998. Bhatia worked
at Microsoft for a little over a year after the Hotmail acquisition and in April 1999, he
left Microsoft to start another venture, Arzoo Inc. It's an e-commerce firm with a
revolutionary new way to shop on line and may just turn out to be Bhatia's next
multi-million dollar winner.
Bhatia's success has earned him widespread acclaim; The venture capital firm Draper
Fisher Jurvetson named him 'Entrepreneur of the Year 1997', MIT chose him as one
of 100 young innovators who are expected to have the greatest impact on technology
and awarded 'TR100', San Jose Mercury News and POV magazine selected him as
one of the ten most successful entrepreneurs of 1998 and Upside magazine's list of top
trendsetters in the New Economy named him 'Elite 100'.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Sachin Tendulkar
Cricketer
The pride of Indian cricket Sachin Tendulkar, was the first batsman to score 10,000
runs in one-day cricket, in a five-day match series against Australia on the 31st of
March 2001. He has scored a world record, 28 hundreds
and 50 half-centuries in his 10,000 runs. A perennial
crowd-favorite, he is the only Indian cricketer to receive the
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India's highest sporting honour
for his performance in 1997-1998
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was born on April 24, 1973, in
Mumbai. Young Sachin wanted to be a fast bowler. He
even undertook trials at the MRF pace foundation, Chennai,
but his short stature proved to be a hindrance for bowling.
Meeting Mr. R. Achrekar, his Cricket Coach and changing
his school to Shardashram Vidya Mandir in Dadar marked
a turning point in Sachin's cricket career.
Sachin at the age of 16, made his International debut in ODI’s India v Pakistan at
Gujranwala and Tests debut India v Pakistan at Karachi
around 1989/90. He then went to England as a part of the
national team, and has not looked back ever since. He
knows every shot in the book and and makes his own
improvisations. His shots have tremendous power and he
times the ball perfectly, making him one of the best
batsman in the world. He is also an effective bowler and
also one of the best fielders.
This all rounder has been the captain of the Indian cricket
team twice. On the personal front, Sachin is god fearing
and he is married to a doctor Anjali and they have a two
children- Sara and Arjun. In 1998, he won the Coopers and
Lybrand Award for 'Player of the year' and has been in the number one position in the
Wisden Cricket ratings.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Shashi Tharoor
Writer and UN Diplomat
Shri Shashi Tharoor, is a well-known Indian English writer, scholar and international
civil servant. He was born in London on May 1956 to father, a newspaper executive
and mother a housewife, with their roots in Palakkad, a town in Kerala, India.
Tharoor mostly grew up in India did his schooling and
under graduation in cities such as Bombay, Calcutta and
Delhi. He completed his honors degree in History from the
prestigious St. Stephen's College in Delhi and won a
scholarship to Tufts University in Boston. As a student he
took part in debates, quiz contests and also tried his hand in
theatre. In the mid 1970's, he went to the United States and
acquired two master's degrees and a Ph.D. in Diplomacy
from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts
University, all by the age of twenty-two.
Tharoor joined the United Nations in May 1978 in the
office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) in Geneva and has been with the organisation since then. He became the
head of UNHCR Singapore office (1981-1984) at the peak of the Vietnamese "boat
people" crisis. Then he served as Special Assistant to the Under-Secretary-General for
Peacekeeping Operations from 1989 to1996 at UN headquarters in New York,
towards the end of the term from 1991 to 1996, he led the team responsible for
peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia. He served as the Executive
Assistant to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (1997-1998) and as the Director of
Communications and Special projects in the office of the Secretary-General from
1998 to 2001. In January 2001, he was appointed as interim head of the Department
of Public Information (DPI) by Kofi Annan, and after a year and a half was confirmed
as the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information of the
United Nations. In this capacity, he is responsible for the communication strategy,
enhancing the image and effectiveness of the organisation. In 2003, the Secretary-
General appointed him United Nations Coordinator for Multilingualism.
As a journalist, Tharoor has written many articles, short stories, literary reviews and
commentaries in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the
International Herald Tribune, the Times of India, the Indian Express, and Foreign
Affairs. As a writer, he is very much an Indian expatriate. Shashi Tharoor has
explored the diversity of culture in his native India. By exploring the themes of India's
past and its relevance to the future, he has produced both works of fiction and
nonfiction. He is the winner of several journalism and literary awards, including
Commonwealth Writers' prize. In 1998, the Association of Indians in America (AIA)
and the Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP) awarded him the Excelsior Award
for Excellence in Literature. He was named by the World Economic forum in Davos
as a Global Leader of Tomorrow. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of
Letters in International Affairs from the University of Puget Sound in May 2000.
Mr. Tharoor is also the author of several books, including 'Reasons of State' (1982), a
scholarly study of Indian foreign policy; 'The Great Indian Novel (1989)', a modern
ironic adaptation of the 2000-year-old Indian epic 'Mahabharata' which is narrated
from a 20th century viewpoint; 'The Five-Dollar Smile & Other Stories' (1990); a
second novel, 'Show Business' (1992) filmed in 1994 under the title 'Bollywood'
which is a satire on the Indian film industry, which received a front-page accolade
from The New York Times Book Review; 'India: From Midnight to the Millennium'

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(1997), published on the 50th anniversary of India's independence; 'Riot. A Love
Story'(2001) which is about a married American government official who have a
secret love affair and 'Nehru, the Invention of India'. He has also published a
collection of short stories.
On the personal front, he has separated from his journalist wife Tilottama who lives
with their twin sons, Ishaan and Kanishk. Though Shashi Tharoor has been out of
India since he was a teenager, he retains a strong attachment to his Indian roots. This
versatile personality now lives in New York, balancing his career at the UN as well as
his life as an author with equal brilliance and ease.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Shiv Nadar
Achevement: Chief Executive Officer of Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL),
India's largest infotech conglomerate

Shiv Nadar is the Chief Executive Officer of Hindustan


Computers Limited (HCL), India's largest infotech
conglomerate. He figures in the Forbes list of Indian
billionaires.

Originally hailing from Moolaipozhi


Village,Trichendur,Tutocorin District, Tamil Nadu, Shiv
Nadar moved to Delhi in 1968. He worked as an engineer
with DCM Ltd. But the entrepreneur in Shiv Nadar wanted to
set up his own business. Therefore, he along with six of his
colleagues launched a firm making office products like
copiers.

In late 1970s, when IBM quit India, Shiv Nadar's HCL stepped in to fill the vacuum.
In 1982, HCL came out with its first computer. Today, HCL derives 80% of its
revenue from computers and office equipment. HCL has also been spreading its
global reach. Its Singapore subsidiary, Far East Computers, achieved a breakthrough
in imaging technology, which, among other applications, enables computers to read
handwritten tax returns.

HCL has adopted innovative practices to achieve growth. In the U.S, a software
subsidiary, HCL America, has reaped huge dividends by taking advantage of global
time zones. Every morning, the company's Chennai office receives software
assignments from the U.S, just after work stops there for the night. A team of Indian
engineers, with salaries much lower than those of their American counterparts,
complete the jobs and send them back in the evening.

In a short span of time, Shiv Nadar has reached pinnacle of success by his hardwork,
vision, and entrepreneurial spirit.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Subroto Roy
Achievement: Chairman of the Sahara Group

Subroto Roy, is the head of the $10bn (£5.5bn) Sahara Group. Sahara Group has
interests in banking, aviation, media and housing.

Subroto Roy began his journey in 1978, when he founded


Sahara in 1978 with three workers in the northern state of
Uttar Pradesh as a small deposits para-banking business.
Today, the group has diversified into a giant business
conglomerate with interests in housing, entertainment,
media and aviation.

Sahara Group presently runs a private airline, entertainment and news television
channels, a newspaper, and claims to own some 33,000 acres of real estate across
India. It also sponsors the Indian cricket and hockey teams and intends to move into
life insurance, housing finance, consumer products, sportswear, and healthcare.

Sahara Group has come up with one of the most prestigious real estate projects in
India, namely Amby Valley Project. The project boasts some of the biggest name in
Indian entertainment and sports arena as well as some former international Olympic
medal winners as its brand ambassadors. Sahara Airline was recently in news for its
merger with Jet Airlines. But the deal fell through.

Sahara Group has a huge complex in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The complex is known
as Sahara City. Subrato Roy is famous for his flamboyant lifestyle. The wedding of
his two sons became talk of the town. The who's who of Indian elite attended it and its
expenditure ran into hundreds of crores. Subroto Roy calls himself as the group's
"chief guardian".

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Sulajja Firodia Motwani


Joint Managing Director of Kinetic Engineering Ltd, she is the in charge of the
Company's overall business developmental activities. She
is also very well performing the role of the Director of
Kinetic Motor Company Limited and Kinetic Marketing
Services Limited. Well, we are talking about Sulajja
Firodia Motwani. In this article, we will provide you with
the biography of Sulajja Firodia Motwani, who has made
an incredible contribution in making the firm reach
heights of success.

She is a fitness person, who is very conscious about her


health. She is very particular about carrying out one or
the other activity for keeping fit and active. She has
always been enthusiastic about sports, especially badminton. She has played
badminton on the national level. She is also very fond of pursuing adventurous sports
like skiing & scuba diving. She tries to spend as much time as possible with her five
year old son Sidhant. Read on to know the complete life history of Sulajja Firodia
Motwani.

Prior to joining Kinetic Company, Sulajja worked for a period of four years with a
well known investment analytics company, BARRA International, based in
California. She has been an active participant in setting the operations of the company
in India. Throughout her studies, she has been a rank holder. She has always cleared
exams with merit. Her name appeared in the toppers list in the SSC examinations and
HSC examinations. She graduated from the Pune University. Thereafter, she went to
the United States for pursuing further studies. She is an MBA degree holder from the
reputed Carnegie Mellon University at Pittsburgh.

She is an epitome of boldness and courage. With her strong determination and
courage, she has been able to establish a niche for the firm in the business world. The
Company has witnessed tremendous expansion during her tenure. From being a mere
moped manufacturer, today, it has set its foothold in the industry as a manufacturer
offering a complete range of two wheelers right from mopeds, scooters to
motorcycles.

This major transformation can be attributed to the new competitive business strategy
that the Company has adopted, which is driven by the market and customers. Kinetic
Company has been constantly coming up with new models to cater to all segments of
the society. Sulajja has been instrumental in designing and implementing the
marketing strategies of the Company. In the recent times, Kinetic has collaborated
with the well known Italian company, Italjet Moto. This acquisition has given full
rights to the Kinetic Company to launch seven new scooter models in the country.

Kinetic is also working in partnership with Hyosung Motors of South Korea. This
major collaboration has led to the launching of the most popular Kinetic Aquila and
Comet. These motorcycles are very much in demand. Sulajja has played an active role
in plotting the course of action for the Kinetic Company. For her great job, she has

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received many accolades. She has been called upon to deliver speech in a number of
public forums.

"India Today", a well known magazine honored her by presenting her with the title of
business "Face of the Millennium". It ranked her among the top twenty five business
entrepreneurs of the country. She was presented with the Society Young Achiever's
Award for Business in the year 2002. The same year, she was chosen as the "Global
Leader of Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. In the year 2003, the Institute
of Marketing and Management bestowed her with the award for excellent
performance as the woman CEO. She also received the Young Super Achiever Award
from the leading magazine "Business Today" in 2003.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Sunil Bharti Mittal


Chairman and Managing Director of Bharti Group
Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder, Chairman and Managing
Director of Bharti Group can be labelled as the most
ambitious telecom entrepreneur in India. Sunil a former
student of Harvard Business School, graduated from Punjab
University. The son of a parliamentarian, Sunil did not want
to follow his father's footsteps. He had shown an interest in
business even from his teenage days. So
after graduation, Sunil got together with his friend and
formed a small bicycle business with borrowed capital in
the1970s. But by 1979, he realized that this business would
remain small. So he moved out of Ludhiana, spent a few
years in Mumbai and in 1981, was running an import and
distribution operation out of New Delhi and Mumbai.
By 1982, Mittal had started a full-fledged business selling portable generators
imported from Japan and that gave him the chance to involve himself in activities like
marketing and advertising. Things went smoothly until the government banned the
import of generators as two Indian companies were awarded licenses to manufacture
generators locally.
Sunil Mittal got interested in push button phones while on a trip to Taiwan, and in
1982, introduced the phones to India, replacing the old fashioned, bulky rotary phones
that were in use in the country then. Bharti Telecom Limited (BTL) was incorporated
and entered into a technical tie up with Siemens AG of Germany for manufacture of
electronic push button phones. By the early 1990s, Mittal was making fax machines,
cordless phones and other telecom gear.
The turning point came in 1992 when the Indian government was awarding licenses
for mobile phone services for the first time. One of the conditions for the Delhi
cellular license was that the bidder have some experience as a telecom operator.
Mittal clinched a deal with the French telecom group Vivendi. Two years later, Sunil
secured rights to serve New Delhi. In 1995, Bharti Cellular Limited (BCL) was
formed to offer cellular services under the brand name AirTel. Within a few years
Bharti became the first telecom company to cross the 2-million mobile subscriber
mark. The company is also instrumental in bringing down the high STD/ISD, cellular
rates in the country by rolling the countries first private national as well as
international long-distance service under the brand name IndiaOne. In 2001, the
company entered into a joint venture with Singapore Telecom International for a
$650-million ubmarine cable project, the countries first ever undersea cable link
connecting Chennai in India and Singapore.
Always on the move and making an impact and excelling in whatever he did, this
clear thinking risk taker has changed the face of the Indian ICT space. For his
contributions he has been honoured with several awards. He was chosen as one of the
top entrepreneurs in the world for the year 2000 and amongst 'Stars Of Asia', by
'Business Week', he received IT Man of the Year Award 2002 from Dataquest and
CEO Of the Year, 2002 Award (World HRD Congress). He is the member of National
Council of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of
Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Chairman, Indo-US Joint Business Council, Member,
Advisory Committee constituted by Ministry of IT. Mittal has to his credit the
breaking up of the 100 year old monopoly of state run companies to operate telecom
services in India. Now he heads a successful empire focused on different areas of

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA
business through independent Joint Venture companies with a market capitalization of
approximately $ 2 billion, employing over 5,000 people and still growing. Bharti
Foundation has funded over 50 schools in Madhya Pradesh and also donated Rs 200
million to IIT Delhi for building a Bharti School of Technology and Management.
In spite of his deep involvement in work, Mittal the man, is calm, seldom ruffled and
very down to earth. He says he achieves a sense of detachment and peace with regular
practice of yoga. He is thankful for a supportive family including a daughter and twin
sons, with whom understandably he doesn't get much time to spend. His brothers
Rakesh and Rajan are with him in the business.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Tata J.R.D
Industrialist, 4th Chairman of TATA Industries
Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, was born on July 29, 1904 in Paris. He was the
second child of Mr Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata. He spent
much of his childhood in France since his mother was
French. In 1922, Tata returned to India to join the
family business. He inherited most of his grandfather
Jamshedji's industrial empire but first became a pioneer
in aviation. He had a great personality with a charm and
style of his own.
After his father's death in 1926, Tata became the
director of the Board of Tata Sons Ltd. Eventually in
1938, he became the chairman of the company. Under
his leadership Tata Sons expanded into one of the
largest industrial empire in the country- from ironworks
and steelworks into chemicals, hotels, engineering and lot of other industries. In 1945,
Tata Steel promoted the Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO) with
an objective to produce locomotives for the Indian Railways. Today Telco has
emerged as the country’s largest Commercial Vehicle producer.
JRD Tata was the first Indian pilot to qualify for a British private license. He founded
Tata Airlines in 1932 and by 1953, it developed and came to be known as Indian
Airlines. Till 1978, Tata was the Chairman of the Indian Airlines and Air India.
Tata was an early advocate of family planning and he created the Family Planning
Foundation in 1971. His innovations in India's fledgling hotel and tourist industry as
well as his contributions to scientific and technical research and corporate
management gained public recognition from the Indian Government. He was
honoured by India's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna in 1991 and United Nations
Population Award in 1992. In 1991, at the age of 87, Tata retired from Tata Sons. He
passed away on November 29, 1993.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya, 50, was elected as Chairman of United Breweries by shareholders,
following the demise of his late father in 1983 at the young age of 28.

Prior to being entrusted with the responsibilities


of a classical Indian corporate conglomerate,
Vijay Mallya worked for the American Hoechst
Corporation (now Sanofi-Aventis) in the USA and
with Jenson & Nicholson in the U.K. Since 1980,
he assisted his father, then Chairman of The UB
Group in managing the important Brewing and
Spirits Divisions and in re-launching the
Kingfisher Brand of Beer. In 1983, the sales
volume of the UB Spirits division was
approximately 2.85 million cases and UB’s beer
business trailed behind that of Golden Eagle from
Mohan Meakins. Also included in the Group were
activities such as Pharmaceuticals,
Agrochemicals, Paints, Petrochemicals and Plastics, the manufacture of Electro-
mechanical Batteries, the manufacture of food products and carbonated beverages, a
fast-food Pizza chain and several medium and small scale industrial units.

Upon assuming the position of Chairman in October 1983, Vijay Mallya initiated the
process of defining a corporate structure with performance accountability, inducting
professional management and consolidating the unwieldy empire into individual
operating divisions.

In 1988, Vijay Mallya became a non-resident Indian to pursue global opportunities


and to transform The UB Group into India’s first multinational. While, in the initial
stages, overseas representative offices had been commissioned, the real break was in
1988 when Vijay Mallya, in a leveraged buyout acquired the global Berger Paints
Group with operating companies across four continents. The exit strategy for this
investment was profitably executed when Vijay Mallya successfully directed five
Initial Public Offerings on the London, Singapore (Main Boards), Nairobi, Jamaica
and Abidjan Stock Exchanges. The paints business was divested for significant value
in 1996.

Vijay Mallya also founded a software company in the USA in 1993 which was
subsequently listed on the NASDAQ in 1996 and which provides a considerable
window of opportunity to the vast US market. He also initiated several ventures for
the promotion and globalization of UB brands and, in particular, Kingfisher and
McDowell.

In 1990, following the Government of India’s liberalised economic policies, Vijay


Mallya decided that the UB Group would only retain interests in businesses that were
globally competitive and which did not depend upon fiscal tariff protection. He also
decided to focus on areas of core competence and transformed the vastly diversified
UB conglomerate into a handful of key operating businesses.

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On entering the new millennium, The UB Group is considerably more focused and
has dramatically increased value for its shareholders through its various operating
businesses. Sales of the UB Spirits Division have exceeded 60 million cases (9 litres
each) during the fiscal year 2005-06 making the UB Group, the third largest beverage
alcohol company in the world. In addition, this Division is one of only three in the
world to own seven millionaire brands and at least five brands rated by Drinks
International, UK to be amongst the ten fastest growing brands in the world in their
respective categories. The market share of the Spirits Division in India is currently
60% and exports to the Middle East, Africa and Asian countries are growing rapidly.

The UB Group’s Brewing Division has also assumed undisputed market leadership
with a national market share in excess of 50%. Through a process of aggressive
acquisition and market penetration, The UB Group today controls 60% of the total
manufacturing capacity for Beer in India. The flagship brand, Kingfisher is now sold
in over 50 countries worldwide having received many accolades for its quality.

The newest venture of The UB Group is in Civil Aviation. After the initial launch of
UB Air in 1990, Vijay Mallya decided to take advantage of the attractive growth
opportunities for Civil Aviation in India, leverage the equity of the Superbrand
“Kingfisher” and utilize the strength of The UB Group in consumer product
marketing. Kingfisher Airlines Limited launched scheduled Airline services on May
9, 2005 with 4 flights a day with one brand new Airbus A-320 aircraft.

Today, Kingfisher Airlines operates a fleet of 14 brand new aircraft with over 86
flights daily connecting 17 Indian cities. Kingfisher Airlines offers unparalleled
service at True Value and delivers a delightful experience to the Indian air traveler.
For the first time in the Indian skies, Kingfisher Airlines offers World class in-flight
entertainment with personal video screens in every seat. In addition, gourmet meals
and cabin crew of International standards make up a unique Kingfisher Class
experience. Kingfisher Airlines has also recently launched Kingfisher First, a
premium cabin that’s easily the finest way to travel in the Indian skies.

In just 10 months from launch, Kingfisher Airlines has received 3 International


Awards. The first was the “Best New Airline of the year award in the Asia Pacific and
Middle East region” given by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. The second was
the “Skytrax award for service excellence”. Skytrax, London is the leading
independent research and quality evaluation agency for the World Air Transport
Industry. The latest addition to the list of laurels is the “Best New Domestic Airline
for Excellent Services and Cuisine” award from Pacific Area Travel Writers
Association (PATWA), one of the biggest travel writers’ organizations in the world.

Kingfisher Airlines has already notched up a market share of 7.6% in India and has
ordered 30 Airbus A-320 aircraft, 5 Airbus A-330 aircraft, 5 Airbus A-340 aircraft, 5
Airbus A-350 aircraft and 5 Airbus A-380 super-jumbo aircraft. In addition to the
same, Kingfisher Airlines has also ordered 35 ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft to cater
to its growth and route expansion plans till 2012.

Vijay Mallya is the Chairman of public companies both in India as well as in the
USA. He has been the Chairman of Aventis Pharma India (previously Hoechst) as

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA
well as the Chairman of Bayer CropScience in India (previously Agrevo) for over 20
years, in addition to his Chairmanship of several other corporations.

Vijay Mallya has received several professional awards both in India and overseas. He
was also conferred a Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration, by the
Southern California University, Irvine. He has also been nominated as a Global
Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.

He is a keen sportsman and is an ardent aviator and yachtsman of distinction. He not


only participates in various sporting events but also supports various sporting
activities worldwide, particularly for the under privileged.

Vijay Mallya has always believed that Corporations have a responsibility to society
and mankind. To this end, he has contributed generously to various Charities and
Foundations in several countries in addition to establishing The Mallya Hospital, The
Mallya-Aditi School and the Vittal Mallya Scientific Research Foundation in
Bangalore, India.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Vikram .A. Sarabhai


2nd chairman of Indian Atomic Energy Commission and Indian Space Research
Organisation
Vikram.A.Sarabhai, was the main personality behind the launching of India's first
satellite, Aryabhata in 1975. He was born in Ahmedabad,
Gujarat in a family of industrialists. He was also responsible
for the Equatorial Rocket Building Station at Thumba.
Sarabhai set up the Ahmedabad Textile Industries Research
Association, a laboratory for research in Physics and the Indian
Institute of Management. Sarabhai was the second chairman of
India's Atomic Energy Commission and the Indian Space
Research Organisation.
Sarabhai's study of cosmic rays under the eminent scientist Dr.
C.V. Raman, revealed that cosmic rays are a stream of energy
particles reaching the earth from the outer space, being influenced on their way by the
sun, the atmosphere and magnetism. This study helps in observing terrestrial
magnetism and the atmosphere, the nature of the sun and outer space. He was
conferred 'Padma Shri' in 1966 and was posthumously awarded 'Padma Vibushan' in
1972. He was also awarded 'Dr. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize' in 1962. This great
scientist could be credited with launching India into space age.

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A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Vikram Seth
Poet, Novelist
Vikram Seth was born in Calcutta in 1952. He earned degrees in Philosophy, Politics
and Economics from Oxford University. He has
published 6 books of poetry and 3 novels since 1980. His
novel "A suitable boy" won the W.H.Smith prize in 1993.
The latest novel written by Vikram Seth is 'An Equal
music' and it is about the troubled love life of a violinist.
Vikram Seth received one of Britain top honours for his
services to literature. The award of the commander of the
order3 of the British Empire was announced earlier in the
year by Queen Elizabeth II and given to Seth on 14
February 2001.
Vikram Seth creates a living, breathing world that
enchants and grips the reader in all his novels.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Vinod Dham
Born: 1950
Achievement: Known as the father of the Pentium processor.

Vinod Dham is popularly known as the father of the Pentium processor. Born in 1950
in Pune, he had his initial schooling in Pune.
He did his Bachelors in Electrical
Engineering from Delhi College of
Engineering in 1971. Thereafter he had a
brief stint with Continental Devices, a Delhi
based semiconductor company.

In 1975, Vinod Dham went to the US and


did his Masters in Electrical Engineering
from the University of Cincinnati. After
completing his Masters in 1977, Vinod
Dham joined the National Cash Register (NCR) at Dayton, Ohio. Vinod was a team
member of the NCR's memory design group. He received many patents for his work
at NCR.

While making a presentation at the IEEE conference in Monterrey, California on re-


programmable memory, Vinod Dham received an offer from the Intel to work with
them. In January 1990, Vinod was in-charge of developing the 586 or Pentium
processor. He worked relentlessly on the project and the Pentium processor was a big
hit in the market. Vinod Dham rose up the corporate ladder and reached the position
of the Vice President of the Intel's Microprocessor Products Group. He quit Intel in
1995.

Thereafter, Vinod joined NexGen, a start-up firm as Chief Operating Officer and
Executive Vice President.. When Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) acquired
NexGen in 1996, Vinod Dham looked after the development of AMD's famous K6
Processor, world's fastest personal computer microprocessor. Later on he quit AMD.

Presently, Vinod Dham is the chairman, president and chief executive officer of
Silicon Spice, a communications technology development firm.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA

Vinod Khosla
Venture Capitalist, One of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems

Vinod Khosla, a native Indian and the world's No.2 ranked Venture Capitalist, is
considered as one of the most influential personalities in
Silicon valley. He is a partner in the venture capital firm
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Aged 50, he was among
the first venture capitalist to understand that internet
technology and fiber optics could make communications so
fast, cheap and easy and spot the potential of companies that
sell gear for high-speed optical networks.
He was born in 1955 in a military family in New Delhi,
India. He earned a B.Tech degree from the Indian Institute of
Technology (IIT), Delhi. After that he attempted to start his
own company in India, a dream since the age of 15. Being
frustrated by the experience, he gave up his mission. Then he
went to United States and completed M.S degree in
Biomedical Sciences at Carnegie Mellon and also earned an
M B A degree from Stanford University in 1979.
Vowing to become a millionaire before 30, ambitious Khosla found a business idea
and partners from Standford business club. They found Daisy Systems, a computer-
aided engineering and design company, but failed quickly because the economics of
the market went against it
At 27, Khosla became successful when he co-founded Sun Microsystems with a
German student Andreas Bechtolsheim, a multi millionaire. Khosla ran Sun until
1984. In 1986, he joined in Kleiner Perkins, a firm that funded Sun as a general
Partner. During this time, Khosla has played key roles in starting companies that are
involved in multimedia, semiconductors, video games, Internet software and
computer networking. He conceived the idea to optimize SONET for data, a scheme
that led to the creation of Cerent Corp, a telecommunications-equipment company
which Cisco acquired in 1999 for $6.9 billion. Khosla was also instrumental in
launching Juniper Networks, a company many thought as the next Cisco. Others
include Viant, Extreme Networks, Lightera etc.
Khosla has won admiration because of his ability to build and fashion companies and
technologies. He plays an active role and is not satisfied to sit back and let others
work the plans while he okays the progress. Though he was successful in almost all
his ventures, there has been one time that Khosla had been wrong. He backed 3DO
Co, a game-maker whose shares now sell for a fraction of the initial offering price in
1993.
Vinod Khosla came from an ordinary middle class background. His father was in
army. At the age of 16, Vinod Khosla read about the founding of Intel. This motivated
him to nurture dreams of starting his own technology company. At the age of 20, after
graduating in Electrical Engineering from IIT Delhi, Vinod Khosla started a soy milk
company to cater to those people in India who did not have refrigerators. But his
venture failed.

Vinod Khosla went to the US and did his Masters in Biomedical Engineering from
Carnegie-Mellon University. His entrepreneurial ambitions attracted him to Silicon
Valley and subsequently he did his MBA from Stanford University in 1980.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi


A Few Great Personalities of INDIA
After graduating from Stanford, Vinod Khosla founded Daisy Systems with two other
founders. Daisy Systems was the first significant computer aided design system for
electrical engineers. The company went on to make huge profits but driven by the
frustration of having to design the computer hardware on which the Daisy software
needed to be built, Vinod Khosla left the company.

In Vinod Khosla, started the standards based Sun Microsystems in 1982 to build
workstations for software developers. Sun was funded by his long time friend and
board member John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. At Sun
Microsystems, Vinod Khosla pioneered "open systems" and RISC processors. He left
Sun Microsystems in 1985 and joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) in
1986, where he continues to be a general partner of KPCB funds through KP X.

Vinod Khosla also challenged Intel's monopoly by developing Nexgen/AMD. He also


conceptualized the idea and business plan for Juniper to take on Cisco's dominance of
the router market. Vinod Khosla is also one of the founding fathers of The Indus
Entrepreneur (TiE), a not-for-profit global network of entrepreneurs and professionals
founded in 1992. In 2004, he formed khoslaventures to fund knowledgeable
entrepreneurs in their new "social impact" ventures.

Vinod Khosla has a keen interest in nascent technologies that can have a beneficial
effect and economic impact on society. Presently, he is looking into practicality of the
use of ethanol as a gasoline substitute.

Khosla's current effort is funding and managing application service provider start-ups.
He is chairman of two such firms, Corio and Asera.
This much respected entrepreneur lives in Woodside, CA with his wife and four
daughters. Khosla believes in closeness in family. His rules for life include having
breakfast and dinner with his family. He is one of three billionaires of Indian origin in
Forbes magazine’s list of America’s richest 400 people.

Compiled by Raj, Ramesh & Ravi